Wildfire begets fire adaptation
Thomas Brussel, geography doctoral candidate, and collaborators developed a new method for understanding how plant communities’ function in relation to wildfires over the past 13,000 years. The researchers combined pollen, charcoal and functional trait data with their new method to assess a plant community’s functional trait variation to understand ecosystems in a new way. They found that as wildfires burned more frequently, the forest shifted from having more fire-sensitive traits, such as short heights, to more fire-adapted traits, such as taller heights. Read more.