Changing California forests may help us prepare for the future

21 January 2015

A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences examines how California’s forests have changed since the 1930s--and, according to its authors, can help us understand how forests will respond to the changing global climate in the future.

Entitled “Twentieth-century shifts in forest structure in California: Denser forests, smaller trees, and increased dominance of oaks,” the study looked at tree abundance and size across the state of California and in several different ecoregions.

“We wanted to document what's changed since the 1930s, and if there were climatic signals associated with those changes,” the study’s lead author, Dr. Patrick McIntyre of the University of California, Berkeley’s Department of Integrative Biology, told

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