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Widespread increase of tree mortality rates in the western United States

Phillip J. van Mantgem, Nathan L. Stephenson, John C. Byrne, Lori D. Daniels, Jerry F. Franklin, Peter Z. Fulé, Mark E. Harmon, Andrew J. Larson, Jeremy M. Smith, Alan H. Taylor, Thomas T. Veblen


Summary - what did the authors do and why?

The authors assessed the widespread tree mortality that has occurred in coniferous forests in the western U.S. and Canada and identified possible causes of the increased mortality.

Publication findings:

Overall, the authors found that fire and fire exclusion is unlikely responsible for the change in mortality rates in the coniferous western forests of the western U.S. and British Colombia, Canada. Instead, the authors suggest that warming and subsequent hydroclimate changes is directly responsible for the increased mortality rate.

Fire and Ecosystem Effects Linkages

Overall, the authors found that fire and fire exclusion is unlikely responsible for the change in mortality rates in the coniferous western forests of the western U.S. and British Colombia, Canada. Instead, the authors suggest that warming and subsequent hydroclimate changes is directly responsible for the increased mortality rate.