International Day of Forests 2018

A collection of 15 recent Nature Ecology & Evolution highlights that focus on forests.
Published in Ecology & Evolution
International Day of Forests 2018

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1. The exceptional value of intact forest ecosystems

A Perspective that looks at the importance of intact, as opposed to degraded, forests for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and storage, water provision, indigenous culture and the maintenance of human health. 

2. Forest extent and deforestation in tropical Africa since 1900

This article reassesses the amount and geographical distribution of African deforestation over the last century.

3. A trillion trees

An interview with Plant-for-the-Planet founder Felix Finkbeiner and ecologist Tom Crowther about their science-activism collaboration to increase global tree cover.

4. History and environment shape species pools and community diversity in European beech forests

Data from over 40,000 vegetation plots across Europe are used to examine how forest biodiversity patterns are determined at different spatial scales.

5. Resistance of tropical seedlings to drought is mediated by neighbourhood diversity

With drought expected to be an increasing threat to forests due to climate change, this research shows the importance of species diversity for a community's drought resistance.

6. A multi-species synthesis of physiological mechanisms in drought-induced tree mortality

This article dmeonstrates the importance of hydraulic failure as a mechanism for drought-induced mortality, information that can help make better predictions for forest responses to climate change.

7. Extinction debt and colonization credit delay range shifts of eastern North American trees

Species range shifts are one of the most studied consequences of climate change, and this research suggests that range contraction will outpace range expansion for trees in eastern North American forests.

8. Hard times for the Brazilian environment

Despite progress in reducing deforestation in Brazil over the last decade, a series of recent political developments pose substantial threats to the Amazon and Atlantic forests.

9. Direct and cascading impacts of tropical land-use change on multi-trophic biodiversity

Forests are not just about trees, and this research in Sumatra demonstrates the effects of land conversion across a forest's trophic levels.

10. Mammal diversity influences the carbon cycle through trophic interactions in the Amazon

This research shows that it is not just plant diversity that is critically important for the carbon cycling function of forests.

11. Secondary foundation species enhance biodiversity

This meta-analysis shows that secondary foundation species, such as epiphytes and mistletoes in forests, are important for enhancing biodiversity, in addition to primary foundation species such as trees.

12. Reassessing the conservation status of the giant panda using remote sensing

Giant pandas are amongst the most iconic forest residents, and this research shows that their habitat has become more fragmented despite their extinction risk being downgraded from 'endangered' to 'vulnerable'.

13. Genome expansion and lineage-specific genetic innovations in the forest pathogenic fungi Armillaria

The forest pathogen Armillaria is possibly the largest terrestrial organism.

14. Community proteogenomics reveals the systemic impact of phosphorus availability on microbial functions in tropical soil

Forest ecosystems depend on the enormous diversity of their soil microbes, and this research explores the important effects of nutrient availability on forest microbial communities.

15. Coat colour adaptation of post-glacial horses to increasing forest vegetation

Finally, adaptation to forests may explain how wild horses survived the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions.

For some of our older content about forests, see last year's International Day of Forests post. Also, check out this great collection of forest research from our colleagues at Nature Communications.

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