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As climate warms, bark beetles march on high-elevation forests

the bird's seed caches help regenerate the forests.

With their broad crowns, the high-elevation whitebark pines also act as snow fences, helping to slowly release water into mountain streams and extending stream flow into mountain valleys well into the summer.

"Loss of the canopy will lead to greater desiccation during the winter and faster melting in the summer due to loss of tree canopies for shade," according to Townsend. "This is possibly a short-term effect of the loss of whitebark pine," he explains "If and it is a big if other tree species replace it, eventually this service may be replaced."


Contact: Phil Townsend
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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