Fire and Animal Behavior: How Forest Fires are Mediating Predator-Prey Interactions

Fires, both from intentional and unintentional sources, have been altering our ecosystems for as long as history has been recorded, yet little is known about how these occurrences affect animal behavior, especially concerning predator-prey interactions. Countless factors, including the extent of the fire and the adaptability of both predator and prey to these new conditions affect the behavior and survivability of both predator and prey. In the end, change is inevitable, but if we improve our understanding of how fires influence animal behavior, we can then help rehabilitate affected populations in more effective and efficient ways.

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How Pre-Industrial Charcoal Changed the Soils Under Our Feet

Tragically, when some people look at the soil beneath our feet, they only see ‘dirt’. They are missing the fact that soils contribute so much to nature and our lives. But, what happens when humans alter soils from their natural state? Researchers from Cottbus, Germany, aimed to find out how charcoal production in the Northeastern US during the mid 1800s impacted the soils and ecology of the forests that we see today. Surprisingly, the answer is a little bit below the surface.

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Can you see the forest for the trees?

From iconic redwoods, to tropical palm trees, to the small windblown trees of subalpine threshold forests are just about everywhere. We assume that the vast majority of people know what a forest is and what it does, but is that so? Forests are being looked at through a new lens using new methods. Researchers are trying to answer questions like: what services do forests provide, how much biodiversity do they have, and what can be done to protect them amidst so many human and environmental threats?

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