As wildfires continue to rage in California, a future with fewer forests is very real, according to findings from a new study on the resilience of Rocky Mountain forests. A team lead by Colorado State University and University of Idaho, funded in part by the National Science Foundation, analyzed data from nearly 1,500 sites spanning five states. They measured more than 63,000 seedlings after 52 wildfires that burned over the past three decades. The team said that with a warming climate, forests are potentially less resilient after wildfires. In one-third of the areas studied, researchers found no seedlings growing and landscapes could forever be changed.
Provided by National Science Foundation