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79 years of monitoring demonstrates dramatic forest change
Date:1/6/2014

e, covered 29 percent of the forest floor in 1929. Currently, the same shrubs cover only two percent of the forest floor a decline that appears to be the result of higher tree density.

"The forest changes we found in this study are emblematic of similar changes that have occurred in the absence of fire throughout the western U.S., and help to explain why fires such as the nearby Rim Fire burn as intensely as they now do," said Dr. Knapp.

The plots measured in this study are among the oldest known to still exist on Forest Service lands in California, and the historical data showing what the forest once looked like provide valuable information about how to restore greater fire resilience and improve biodiversity in forests today.


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Contact: Walita Kay Williams
walitakwilliams@fs.fed.us
510-559-6367
USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station
Source:Eurekalert

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