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Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance

Author(s): Constance I. Millar, Nathan L. Stephenson
Year Published: 2015

Although disturbances such as fire and native insects can contribute to natural dynamics of forest health, exceptional droughts, directly and in combination with other disturbance factors, are pushing some temperate forests beyond thresholds of sustainability. Interactions from increasing temperatures, drought, native insects and pathogens, and uncharacteristically severe wildfire are resulting in forest mortality beyond the levels of 20th-century experience. Additional anthropogenic stressors, such as atmospheric pollution and invasive species, further weaken trees in some regions. Although continuing climate change will likely drive many areas of temperate forest toward large-scale transformations, management actions can help ease transitions and minimize losses of socially valued ecosystem services.

Citation: Millar, C.I.; Stephenson, N.L. 2015. Temperate forest health in an ear of emerging megadisturbance. Science. 21(349): 823-826.
Topic(s): Fire Ecology, Insects & Disease, Fire & Bark Beetles, Resilience, Fire & Wildlife, Invertebrates, Mountain pine beetles, Management Approaches, Recovery after fire
Ecosystem(s): None
Document Type: Book or Chapter or Journal Article
NRFSN number: 13501
Record updated: May 24, 2018