Find out the latest in forest news in this week’s Forest Digest!

Credit: Vincent Poulissen via Flickr.
  • Quantum computer learns to ‘see’ trees —
    Scientists have trained a quantum computer to recognize trees, which bring researchers a step close to using such computers for complicated machine-learning problems in tree research like pattern recognition and computer vision.
  • How nature creates forest diversity —
    A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences provides a first model that elucidates the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms underlying diversity in forests.
  • Exclusive Look Into How Rare Elephants’ Forests Are DisappearingNational Geographic
    Palm oil, which is the basis of products like cosmetics and processed foods, is versatile and has a long shelf life. However, palm oil plantations devastate forests — and not always legally. A new report by the NGO Rainforest Action Network details the illegal razing of lowland forest, critical habitat for Sumatran elephants, by an oil palm grower.
  • Trees’ ability to store carbon in doubt after groundbreaking Australian study —
    The ability of trees to offset carbon emissions has been questioned after a Western Sydney University study found common Australian trees are unable to store as much carbon as previously thought. The findings have significant implications for models used by international climate agencies, many of which assume that rising carbon dioxide will fertilize trees and result in more growth and capture of CO2 from the air.