Dr. William Smith discusses threats to forest ecosystems with Arizona public radio

Nov. 6, 2019

SNRE faculty member Dr. Bill Smith was recently interviewed by Arizona KJZZ radio concerning threatened forests across the country. Tree populations in the midwest and southwest U.S., including Ponderosa pine, Douglas Fir, and Pinyon Pine, are endangered by changing precipitation patterns that make trees more susceptible to other stressors. Extreme variations in precipitation, which are expected to continue into the future, disrupts tree growth, affecting survival and reproduction. It is possible that feedback loops created with bark beetle outbreaks could further threaten coniferous communities and reduce the carbon stored by these ecosystems, exacerbating greenhouse gas effects. Research investigating how ecological factors interact with each other to change forest ecosystems and carbon cycles is needed to better inform future management strategies.
Listen to the entire segment here