July 11th, 2014 by

TGIFF — Thank God It’s Forest Friday! Start your weekend off with our Forest Digest.

Here is this week’s news in trees:

“Amazon rainforest once looked more like savannas of Africa than a jungle”Mother Nature Network
Once upon a time, man-made trenches spread across Bolivia and Brazil. From these ditches grew the Amazon rainforest. What this indicates today is that humans have been altering the environment for thousands of years.

“A Fungal Disease is Destroying Maine’s White Pines”Nature World News
Can the white pine trees get a doctor STAT? A fungus called white pine needle disease is spreading rapidly across southern Maine and could spell disaster for the area’s white pine forests.

“Chinese forestry scholars tap U.S. research on sustainable outdoor recreation”Virginia Tech News
Virginia Tech adjunct Professor of Natural Resource Recreation Jeff Marion is working with Qinglin Huang, a professor at the Chinese Academy of Forestry’s Research Institute of Forest Resource Information Techniques, to devise a plan to make China’s forests international vacation destinations.

Forest protection elements in American Forests' 2014 Honduras reforestation project include holistic pest control, awareness building activities to discourage illegal logging and sustainable crop management.

Forest protection elements in American Forests’ 2014 Honduras reforestation project include holistic pest control, awareness building activities to discourage illegal logging and sustainable crop management.

“In the Colombian rainforest, an experiment in community-driven climate protection”Grist
Along the Tolo River in Colombia, rainforest trees can rest easy. A local group, whose name translated is Black Communities of the Tolo River and Southern Coast, vows to preserve the trees and save them from logging.

“Mountain pine beetle, a major disturbance agent in US western coniferous forests: A synthesis of the state of knowledge”U.S. Forest Service
The USDA’s Western Bark Beetle Research Group has compiled old and new research in one publication for the first time. This series will help forest managers, scientists, and students to learn about the mountain pine beetle from A to Z.

“Logging and burning cause the loss of 54 million tons of carbon a year in Amazonia”ScienceDaily
A study on the effects of selective logging in the Amazon rainforest discloses that the deforestation could be releasing 54 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere.

“Undead Forests Around Chernobyl Won’t Decompose”Nature World News
What doesn’t rot them makes them a subject of research. Dead forests located within the range of immediate radiation of the Chernobyl disaster have not showed signs of decay over the past three decades. Scientists are studying these trees to understand the effect of radiation exposure on decomposition.

“How Your Old Cellphone Could Help Stop Illegal Logging And Poaching”HuffPost Green/MNN
The forests called; they want your old Android phone back. An organization called Rainforest Connection is utilizing unwanted cellphones to create listening devices that thwart illegal logging and poaching.