Credit: David Cree

Check out what’s happened this week in forestry news!

This Ice Age forest wasn’t just buried underground – it’s also underwater! Located about 10 miles off the Alabama coast in the Gulf of Mexico, this forest is estimated to be between 50,000 and 70,000 years old. Scientists theorize it was preserved by mud and sand until waves from a powerful hurricane uncovered it. They are using this forest to learn more about what happens during periods of climate change.

Polar bears are already threatened by habitat loss caused by climate change. Now they also face the threat of food shortage. New research shows that polar bears have a higher metabolic rate than what scientists originally thought, so they need more food to survive in the arctic environment. Since a polar bear’s diet is high in fat and supplied mostly by seal hunting, the concern is that polar bears will have to travel greater distances for food every year.

Mangroves are now considered a harbinger of climate change, since they’re expanding from tropical zones into temperate areas. A recent study shows that, along a 220-square mile area of the Atlantic coast, mangrove abundance has increased by 70 percent in 7 years. This change in plant community is expected to have some benefits, such as increased carbon storage and storm surge protection.

In Pennsylvania, landowners Mike and Laura Jackson’s active forest management is providing an oasis for the golden-winged warbler. The golden-winged warbler is often considered a flagship species for diverse forests, since they need forests of different ages at different stages of life – they nest in young trees and thick shrubs, and live in older forests when they’re grown. Read more to find out how the Jacksons manage their forest.

Researchers believe agroforestry could play an important role in controlling climate change because it stores more atmospheric carbon in plant parts and soil than conventional farming, though it still isn’t as effective as forests. Governments are encouraging farmers to shift from conventional farming to agroforestry. In the U.S., agroforestry is closely connected to the sustainable agriculture movement.