Frontiers | Science News

Science News post list

24 news posts in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change


09 Nov 2023

Forests with multiple tree species are 70% more effective as carbon sinks than monoculture forests

by Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: Forests are excellent at absorbing and storing carbon and can play a role in meeting global net zero targets. As more countries commit to forest creation, but mainly plant single species forests, an international team of researchers has examined how carbon stocks in mixed forests and monocultures compare. They found that mixed forests store more carbon, and that out of the forests assessed those with four species had the highest carbon stocks relative to monocultures. To slow the effects of climate change, conserve biodiversity, and meet the sustainable development goals, replanting trees is vital. Restored forests store carbon within the forest’s soil, shrubs, and trees. Mixed forests are especially effective at carbon storage, as different species with complementary traits can increase overall carbon storage. Compared to single-species forests, mixed forests are also more resilient to pests, diseases, and climatic disturbances, which increases their long-term carbon storage potential. The delivery of other ecosystem services is also greater in mixed species forests, and they support higher levels of biodiversity. Although the benefits of diverse forest systems are well known, many countries’ restoration commitments are focused on establishing monoculture plantations. Given this practice, an international […]

Climate action

08 Sep 2023

The climate crisis could reshape Italian mountain forests forever

by Angharad Brewer Gillham, Frontiers science writer Image/Shutterstock. With the changes in conditions caused by the climate crisis, the forests of the Italian Alps and Apennines are set to alter. Many species, including keystone species, will have smaller ranges to grow in. Some others may expand their ranges, possibly helping to maintain forests in the years to come. Scientists now warn that conserving our forests depends on detailed biodiversity modelling. As a result of the climate crisis, future forests may become unrecognizable. Trees that currently make up European woods may no longer be seen — or they may have moved several hundred meters uphill. Scientists writing in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change have mapped the forests of five vulnerable mountain areas in Italy and modelled the future of these fragile ecosystems. “If I imagine my daughter walking with me as an old man, in our mountain forests, I can imagine that we can see the initial stage of a profound change of species,” said Dr Sergio Noce of the Euro-Mediterranean Center on Climate Change Foundation (CMCC). “Like any natural process, time is needed, and forests have times that are totally different from us.” Seeing the wood for the trees […]

Climate action

05 Apr 2023

How a city walk may improve your mood: Here are five Frontiers articles you won’t want to miss

By Deborah Pirchner, Frontiers science writer Image: At Frontiers, we bring some of the world’s best research to a global audience. But with tens of thousands of articles published each year, it’s impossible to cover all of them. Here are just five amazing papers you may have missed. Walking in the city might be just as good for our mood as walking in nature Time spent in urban environments is associated with depletion of cognitive resources and an increasing prevalence of mental illness. Few studies, however, have measured working memory capacity. Now, writing in Frontiers in Psychology, US researchers have compared memory performance and self-reported mood before and after a 30-minute walk in a natural or urban environment. The scientists assigned participants to either a nature or an urban condition and measured differences in self-reported affect and OPSAN, a complex measure of working memory capacity, before and after going on a walk in the respective environment. Their results showed that regardless of the setting, walkers exhibited an increase in positive affect and a decrease in negative affect, suggesting that going outside for a walk can boost mood regardless of environment type. They found, however, no significant changes in working memory […]

Climate action

05 Aug 2022

Worrying finding in California’s multi-billion-dollar climate initiative reveals problem with using forests to offset CO2 emissions

By Suzanna Burgelman, Frontiers science writer Image: Zack Frank/ Researchers have found that California’s forest carbon buffer pool, designed to ensure the durability of the state’s multi-billion-dollar carbon offset program, is severely undercapitalized. The results show that, within the offset program’s first 10 years, estimated carbon losses from wildfires have depleted at least 95% of the contributions set aside to protect against all fire risks over 100 years. This means that the buffer pool is unable to guarantee that credited forest carbon remains out of the atmosphere for at least 100 years. The results, published in Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, illustrate that the program, one of the world’s largest, is likely not meeting its set requirements. Carbon offset programs have become popular action plans to combat the climate crisis. California’s carbon offset program was established to utilize the ability of trees to absorb and store carbon and applies to around 75% of statewide emissions allowances. The program allows forest owners to earn ‘carbon credits’ for preserving trees. Polluters buy credits so that they can emit more CO2 than they’d otherwise be allowed to under state law. Each credit represents one ton of CO2. This exchange is supposed to […]

Climate action

05 Apr 2022

The hidden effects of deforestation on our planet and 3 other fascinating Frontiers articles you may have missed

By Colm Gorey, Frontiers Science Communications Manager Image: At Frontiers, we bring some of the world’s best research to a global audience. But with tens of thousands of articles published each year, many often fly under the radar. Now, as part of new series each month, Frontiers will highlight just some of those amazing papers you may have missed. The Unseen Effects of Deforestation: Biophysical Effects on Climate Research published to Frontiers in Forests and Global Change offers the most comprehensive and detailed evidence to date that forests are more important to the climate – both globally and locally – than we think due to the way in which they physically transform the atmosphere. The first-ever research conducted by a team from the US pinpointed the local, regional and global non-CO2 benefits of specific forest zones worldwide to find that the entire world gains the most benefits from the band of tropical rainforests spanning Latin America, central Africa and Southeast Asia. It finds that, together, forests keep the planet at least half of a degree Celsius cooler when we account for the understudied biophysical effects – from chemical compounds to turbulence and the reflection of light. These effects in […]

Global Land Programme 4th Open Science Meeting 2019 banner image

Frontiers news

17 Apr 2019

Come meet Frontiers at the 4th Open Science Meeting 2019 #glposm

From 24-26 April 2019, Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems and Frontiers in Forests and Global Change will be in Bern for the 4th Open Science Meeting 2019 #glposm ( If you are an attendee at the conference, we invite you to our exhibitor booth to discuss our community journals; our collaborative, rigorous and fair peer-review system; and how publishing with Frontiers will unlock your research’s true impact. Please feel free to schedule a meeting with our team: Email: | Follow us on Twitter: @FrontSustainFollow the Global Land Programme on Twitter: @GlobalLandP Frontiers looks forward to meeting you!


08 Apr 2019

Floodplain forests under threat

A floodplain forest dominated by oaks. Credit: Albert Reif. — by University of Freiberg, Germany A team from the Institute of Forest Sciences at the University of Freiburg shows that the extraction of groundwater for industry and households is increasingly damaging floodplain forests in Europe given the increasing intensity and length of drought periods in the summer. The scientists have published their results in the journal Frontiers in Forests and Global Change. Floodplain forests dominated by oaks are among the most at risk in Europe. Through conversion to arable land and pastures, as well as settlements, they have lost most of their original distribution. River regulation and drainage have also changed the natural hydrologic balance. The introduction of pests and diseases decimates native tree species such as elm and ash. At the same time, these forests play an important part in the control of flooding and protection of biodiversity. Groundwater Extraction in Floodplain Forests Reduces Radial Growth and Increases Summer Drought Sensitivity of Pedunculate Oak Trees (Quercus robur L.)► Read original article► Download original article (pdf) The root of the study by the Freiburg team was the observation that the vitality of old trees in the oak forests of the Rhine valley had […]