Fractured Forests

Forest fragmentation, or habitat fragmentation, is the breakdown of habitat from a large, contiguous swath into smaller, distinct, discontinuous pieces. When habitat is broken apart three interrelated processes occur 1) reduction of the total amount of vegetation, in other words, habitat loss, 2) division of remaining vegetation into remnants or patches and 3) new land-use…

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Fire Factors

Plants are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to escaping fire, they cannot get up and run. So, many plants have adapted specific traits for fire survival, using it to their advantage as an aid in reproduction or regeneration. These adaptations have made wildfires essential to some ecosystems. Fire ecology is an arm of…

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Biomass Basics

Biomass energy or “bioenergy” is energy from plants and plant-derived materials. Wood and wood products are the largest source of biomass fuel with many companies supplying bulk hardwood pellets for those who use them. However, other sources are being tested and used including; crops, grasses, woody plants, algae, residual waste from agricultural forestry and the…

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Seed Saver

Now that fall is here, the harvest is happening, may be already complete in some regions or has already been wrapped up in others, most of us home gardeners in the north won’t think about planting again until the soil defrosts in the spring. But if your garden really thrived this year, you found some…

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Laurel Wilt Worries

Laurel wilt is a disease affecting redbay (Persea borbonia) which is a facultative wetland shrub or small tree throughout much of its range. This disease is caused by the introduction of a non-native fungus (Raffaelea lauricola) via the invasive ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). Laurel wilt compromises the ability of the plant to uptake and transport water, causing leaves…

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Effects on Energy

The Urban Natural Resources Institute (UNRI) is performing research to investigate how trees in urban areas affect the physical environment; air temperature, wind, humidity, solar and thermal radiation. They are also studying the subsequent effects that changes in the physical environment have on health and happiness of the community, temperatures in soil and streams, energy usage…

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Canopy Care

Project Canopy is a collaborative project implemented by the Maine Forest Service and GrowSmart Maine (http://growsmartmaine.org/)to preserve healthy urban and community forests for ecological and economic benefits to Maine residents as well as the global environment. Project Canopy works with non-profit organizations and municipalities to help maintain public forestry resources. They procure grants and technical assistance…

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Rewilding Realms

In a time of extinction and deterioration, “rewilding” is an idea that is gaining more ground. Rewilding refers to returning lands to a wild state and reintroducing native plants and animals in an effort to restore the ecosystem. The term “rewilding” was actually coined about 30 years ago, but officially entered the lexicon in 2011…

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