Atlas Obscura discusses how The Climate Isn’t Just Worsening Wildfires, It Can Hobble Forests’ Ability to Recover. “What we’re most concerned about is things can still get worse.”
For a recent study published in Global Ecology and Biogeography, Rodman and colleagues from the U.S. Forest Service and universities in Colorado, Arizona, and North Carolina focused on the viability of post-fire seedlings for two common trees in the Rocky Mountains—ponderosa pine and Douglas fir—under different climate scenarios. Under normal circumstances, wildfires are a part of the natural ecology of these forests, which hold the ability to regenerate through new seedlings. But circumstances today are hardly normal. The study concluded that if conditions in the area become warmer and more arid, as many models predict, forest resiliency will decline because of significant reductions in the density of post-fire seedlings.