Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Dr. Nate Stephenson says the rules are changing for Sierra Nevada trees

USGS WERC forest ecologist Dr. Nate Stephenson was quoted recently in an article about California drought and associated tree mortality on Mashable, a digital news website. The article focuses on how drought and other disturbances work together to kill trees in the Sierra Nevada and how drought and tree mortality may worsen in the future. Stephenson explains the process of tree death in vivid, relatable terms: during drought, the trees “basically start holding their breath,” he says.

Stephenson’s commentary is based on decades of research on tree populations in the Sierra Nevada. Recent projects have dug into the effects of California’s recent severe drought on tree mortality in several tree species, including pines, oaks, and Giant sequoia. Stephenson’s research program also investigates the role of forest disturbance more broadly, from bark beetles to climate change and fire. USGS research on forest disturbance plays an important role in helping land managers like the National Park Service and US Forest Service conserve natural resources and plan for the future.


Read the Mashable article.

Learn more about USGS WERC research on forests and drought.

Get Our News

These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.