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Top Story

Tree-bark thickness indicates fire resistance in a hotter future

A Princeton University-led study has found that trees in fire-prone areas around the world develop thicker bark. The findings suggest that bark thickness could help predict which forests and savannas will survive a warmer climate in which wildfires are expected to increase in frequency. The team of researchers found that trees in regions where fire is common, such as savannas and the forests of western North America, tend to have thicker bark, while trees in tropical rainforests have thinner bark. Bark protects the inside of the trunk from overheating and is one of a handful of adaptations that trees use to survive fire.

Visit Website | Image credit: Adam Pellegrini, Stanford University