Well the storm has passed and spring is just around the corner — 14 days, but who’s counting? Help pass the time with this latest issue of Forest Digest.

  • Genetic data can help predict how pine forests will cope with climate changePhys.org
    Genetics play an important factor when it comes to survival in the wild, but until now very few computer models took this into account. But thanks to researchers from the Forest Research Centre of Spain’s Institute for Agricultural Research (CIFOR-INIA), climate change models will now include data on tree genetics to determine how trees will respond to the warming temperatures.
  • Direct evidence that drought-weakened Amazonian forests ‘inhale less carbon’Phys.org
    Researchers from Oxford University have found that tropical trees stricken by drought take up less carbon dioxide than healthier ones. The three-year study covering 13 plots in Brazil, Peru and Bolivia measured the rate of growth and photosynthesis — the process through which trees convert CO2 to oxygen — only to find that photosynthesis decreased about 10 percent in a six-month period.
  • Satellites give scientists unprecedented views of insect outbreaks in forestsPhys.org
    For years forest managers have relied on airplanes to survey the damage mountain pine beetle and western spruce budworm inflict on Western forests, but that’s about to change! Satellite images that show more detail can now be used to understand the cyclic nature of outbreaks how the insects spread, and what the forest does to repair itself.
This big tree received 59,836 votes, showing just how much Estonians love their trees. Photo Credit: Kalmer Saar
This big tree received 59,836 votes, showing just how much Estonians love their trees. Photo Credit: Kalmer Saar
  • Estonia oak takes top prize in European Tree of the Year competitionMother Nature Network
    A large, 150-year-old oak tree in Orissaare, Estonia took home the title of Europe’s best tree, a contest run by the Environmental Partnership Association, a six country community-based conservation group. The contest focuses on a tree’s story rather than size, beauty or age, and this tree won the judges over by beating the two-time champion from Hungary.
  • Traditional beliefs promote sustainability in West AfricaPhys.org
    Farmers in Liberia are making a name for sustainable farming in West Africa. These farmers value sacred forests and ancestral land more than short-term economic growth and profits and have been practicing this way of life for decades.