When the primary goal of a forest is sustainable timber production, the lack of historic tree diversity, shrub and vegetation species may have long-term impacts on forest health.
The study conducted by forestry researchers supports a “trophic cascade” theory of ecological interdependence — extending to plants, animals, food chains and ecological zones.
Foraging birds such as the mountain chickadee, red-breasted nuthatch, pygmy nuthatch and yellow-rumped warbler can help spur the growth of ponderosa pine trees in the West, according to researchers.
Although native to eastern North America, barred owls moved west as human activities altered the landscape, according to USFWS. Since barred owls are less selective about their habitat and prey, they are out-competing northern spotted owls for habitat and food.
This previously unrecognized type of wolf joined wooly mammoths and saber-toothed cats in the end-Pleistocene extinction 12,000 years ago.