Quirks & Quarks - The pine forests of North America have been under attack from the mountain pine beetle for well over a decade. The population of the destructive beetle first exploded in British Columbia in the early 2000's, then quickly spread into Alberta. But new research by Dr. Justine Karst, an Assistant Professor of Restoration Ecology at the University of Alberta, has found the pine beetle poses a threat beyond the destruction of mature trees. As the trees die, the fungal composition of the soil changes. As a result, a different type of fungi takes hold, which is not conducive to the growth of new seedlings and puts second generation pine trees at risk.
Climate Central - Alaska and its neighbor to the east, Canada, have kicked off wildfire season in a major way. Blazes have raged across the northern stretches of North America, sending smoke streaming down into the Lower 48 and leaving the landscape charred. The multitudes of fires is a glimpse of things to come as the climate warms, but blackened trees are only the most visible concern. The ground beneath them is what has some truly worried, with vast carbon reserves that could contribute to even more warming of the planet if they’re sent up in smoke. University of Alberta wildland fire expert Mike Flannigan comments.
University of Alberta Professor Lee Foote and recent PhD graduate Maureen Murray comment in story on the rise of urban coyote sightings.