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Choose Your Poison: Plant Disease Outbreaks May Be Curbed by Periodic Wildfire

A controlled burn in Cedar Creek oakland

Wildfires have made headlines worldwide in recent years — and for good reason. Evidence points to increasing wildfire frequency and intensity across many vulnerable ecosystems as climate change impacts grow ever more evident. However, periodic wildfires in ecosystems adapted to them can actually help inhibit plant disease outbreaks, according to new research from Cedar Creek… Read more »

Seeing the forest for the shrubs in Southern Appalachia

Rhododendron shrubs leave no space left unfilled as its branches stretch over the forest floor and streams. Photo credit: Maura Dudley.

As ecosystems respond to human activity, what organisms will emerge as new trailblazers, shaping the diversity and resilience of these changing environments? And how can land managers identify these species early on to better prepare for the future? Forests of southern Appalachia have a history fraught with human activity. Hardy and towering, American chestnut and… Read more »