Mosses and their microbial partners are important players in fertilizing the boreal forests that make up nearly a third of all Earth’s forests. But climate may be changing mosses’ role in how these forests access nutrients, according to a new study led by the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society (Ecoss) at Northern Arizona University… Read more
NAU scientists contribute to critical new global study showing ‘best of the last’ tropical forests urgently need protection to mitigate climate change and safeguard human well-being.
Given the tremendous ability of forests to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, some governments are counting on planted forests as offsets for greenhouse gas emissions—a sort of climate investment. As with any investment, however, it’s important to understand the risks. If a forest goes bust—through severe droughts or wildfires, researchers say—much of that stored carbon could go up in smoke.
Professor Scott Goetz of Northern Arizona University’s Read more
Challenging long-held assumptions that phosphorus limits aboveground plant growth mainly in tropical regions, a new paper in Nature Communications by NAU authors suggests that this important nutrient actually helps govern plant production in temperate regions, too, and on every continent except Antarctica.
Analyzing data from phosphorus field experiments conducted worldwide between 1955-2017, authors Enqing Hou, Yiqi Luo, and… Read more
Pools of old carbon in the soil of boreal forests historically safe from combustion are being released by more frequent and larger wildfires, a team led by researchers at Northern Arizona University announced in Nature this week. As the climate of these forests in the Northwest Territories of Canada becomes warmer and drier and prone to more frequent… Read more
Snowmelt is a vital source of soil moisture in northern Arizona, but in overly dense forests where tree canopies merge, up to 60 percent of the snow never reaches the ground.