Related topics: climate change · trees · carbon dioxide · fire · carbon

Bats use leaves as mirrors to find prey in the dark

On moonless nights in a tropical forest, bats slice through the inky darkness, snatching up insects resting silently on leaves—a seemingly impossible feat. New experiments at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute ...

A forest 'glow' reveals awakening from hibernation

Winters in the northern hemisphere are brutal. The harsh conditions drive some species to hibernate; bears reduce their metabolic state to conserve energy until spring. Forests also endure winter by conserving energy; they ...

Resilience of Yellowstone's forests tested by unprecedented fire

In August 2016, areas of Yellowstone National Park that burned in 1988 burned again. Shortly after, in October 2016, ecologist Monica Turner and her team of graduate students visited the park to begin to assess the landscape.

Are coffee farms for the birds? Yes and no

Over 11 field seasons, between 1999 and 2010, ornithologist Cagan Sekercioglu trekked through the forests and coffee fields of Costa Rica to study how tropical birds were faring in a changing agricultural landscape. Through ...

To save life on Earth, here's the $100 billion-a-year solution

There have been five mass extinctions in the history of the Earth. But in the 21st century, scientists now estimate that society must urgently come to grips this coming decade to stop the very first human-made biodiversity ...

A precise chemical fingerprint of the Amazon

In 2017, Scot Martin, the Gordon McKay Professor of Environmental Science and Engineering at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), envisioned a novel drone-based chemical monitoring ...

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Forest

A forest is an area with a high density of trees. There are many definitions of a forest, based on the various criteria. These plant communities presently cover approximately 9.4% of the Earth's surface (or 30% of total land area) in many different regions and function as habitats for organisms, hydrologic flow modulators, and soil conservers, constituting one of the most important aspects of the Earth's biosphere. Although a forest is classified primarily by trees a forest ecosystem is defined intrinsically with additional species such as fungi. A woodland, with more open space between trees, is ecologically distinct from a forest.

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