Find out the latest in forest news!

Bristlecone pines can live up to 5,000 years, but researchers are worried about climate change’s effect on these old giants. Scientists at the University of California, Davis, found that a similar tree species, the limber pine is taking key spots on mountainsides where the bristlecone pine would normally grow. Limber pine normally grows at lower elevations, but rising temperatures have encouraged it to move up to take over bristlecone pine habitats.

DNA analysis by the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill., has found that the common ancestor for North American oaks originated much farther north than previously thought. Most botanists had hypothesized that oak trees developed in the tropics, and then spread northward, but after looking at over 10,000 pieces of DNA from over 300 species of oak, researchers found that the ancestor for modern oaks arose 45 million years ago in what is now northern Canada.

Funding Trees for Health — Global Solutions (The Nature Conservancy)

A study by The Nature Conservancy has found that planting urban trees is one of the most cost-effective solutions to increasing the health and life expectancy for urban residents. The study looks at critical health outcomes and identifies major barriers to be overcome to allow cities to realize the potential urban forestry.

The coal we burn today is called a fossil fuel, but what fossils did it come from? Three hundred million years ago, it was a plant known as a “scale tree,” a seedless tree living during the Carboniferous period. At its peak, this tree made up over half of the biomass in North America and Europe. The species died out about 272 million years ago, but millions of years of exposure to heat and pressure gradually turned all that biomass into coal.

Mangroves are effective at fighting climate change, but it’s been found that mangrove dieback can actually contribute to climate change. That’s the result of a study done by Southern Cross University in Melbourne, after studying a massive dieback of mangroves that occurred in 2015. Researchers found a variety of factors contributed to the mangrove dieback, low rainfall, high temperatures and low sea levels as a result of El Niño.

The Brazilian government has publicized that it will no longer move forward on a plan to allow mining in a protected Amazon reserve. The reserve is larger than Switzerland and believed to hold large deposits of gold, manganese, iron and copper. Brazil’s president announced the decree to open up mining last month. A few days after it was announced, the courts suspended the decree, and on Sept. 25 the Ministry of Mines and Energy (MME) announced it would not move forward on the president’s decree. However, the MME did put out a statement indicating that they would be receptive to other proposals in the future, saying “the country needs to grow and generate jobs, attract investment to the mining sector and even tap the economic potential of the region.”