Forest resilience linked with higher mortality risk in western U.S.


A forest’s resilience, or ability to absorb environmental disturbances, has long been thought to be a boost for its odds of survival against the looming threat of climate change.

But a new study suggests that for some Western U.S. forests, it’s quite the opposite.

In the journal Global Change Biology, researchers have published one of the first large-scale studies of U.S. forest land exploring the link between forest resilience and mortality.

The study is based on more than three decades of satellite image data used for assessing forest resilience, and more than two decades of ground observations of forest tree death across the continental United States.

The results show that while high ecosystem resilience correlates with low mortality in eastern forests, it is linked to high mortality in western regions.

News Date: 

Tuesday, December 6, 2022