Credit: Ervins Strauhamanis

Find out what’s happened this past week in the world of forestry!

Natural climate solutions could account for up to 37 percent of actions required under the 2015 Paris Climate Accord, according to a study published in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences. The international climate agreement seeks to limit carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, setting specifically targeted goals each decade. Targeted trees plantings could result in up to 11.3 billion tons of carbon being absorbed by 2030, an amount much higher than previously thought.

Global tree cover losses rose 51 percent in 2016, with a total area of forest canopy equivalent to New Zealand vanishing. Data compiled by the Global Forestry Watch found that record forest fires in Brazil, Indonesia and Portugal contributed to the unprecedented loss in forest cover.

Learn about the Urban Forest Strike Team, made up of collaboration between state forestry associations and the U.S. Forest Service. These “first-responders for the trees” go into storm-ravaged areas and evaluate damaged trees, looking at the extent of damage and whether it poses a risk to the community.

A study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Development has found that individuals that live and work near forests actually have healthier amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for regulating stress. Living near a forest produced effects in people’s brains that made them more effective at managing anxiety, stress and depression.

A proposal was recently announced by the National Park Service that would raise the entrance fee to certain national parks during peak season. The price surge would be in effect from May 1 to Oct. 30, and would affect parks such as Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Yosemite and others. The increased fees would go towards much-needed infrastructure maintenance that many parks have been unable to perform due to growing visitor volume.

Discovery of ancient mineralized trees reveal that Earth’s first trees had an interior that was made up of hundreds of individualized strands that pushed apart as the tree grew, as opposed to modern day trees, which form rings around the edge of their trunk. This design caused the base of ancient trees to collapse under the weight of expansion as the tree would grow bigger.

A new study from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and Virginia Tech University finds that during drought, young wood thrush required large plots of forest and shade to survive. The study looked at the mortality rate of wood thrush offspring during periods of drought and other hardship, and found that the significant factor was not total forest cover, but whether the forests were fragmented. The songbirds required expanses of forest in order to increase their chances of survival.

Treating Toxins with Tree MicrobesScientific American

Poplars are naturally capable of absorbing a specific type of carcinogen, trichloroethylene (TCE), which is an industrial solvent found in many waste sites around the U.S. Researchers have been able to isolate the microbe responsible and inoculate other poplars with the strain. The poplars then become capable of absorbing the TCE at much faster rates than untreated trees. Not only was the soil surrounding the treated trees significantly clearer, the trees also were larger and healthier.

Read about a linden tree in Germany with a dance platform among its branches, an oak famous for being the site of countless duels in New Orleans, a millennia-old Montezuma cypress in Mexico and more.