Prof. Merritt Turetsky appeared on CTV’s Your Morning on Jan. 8, talking about why forests sometimes can’t recover after widespread fires.
As an ecosystem ecologist, Turetsky shared her expertise with CTV in a segment examining how fire-damaged forests affect the larger Canadian landscape. She said that while forest fires have been a natural part of the history of the boreal forest in Canada, today those fires are burning longer and more intensively due to anthropogenic climate change. She said scientists are also noticing that organic matter in forest soil is being affected by fires, making it difficult for coniferous trees to grow back which also affects wildlife. She said human settlements are also being impacted.
Turetsky holds the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology. Her research covers plant ecology, biogeochemistry and global change. She looks at how interactions between biological communities and the cycling of nutrients control the quality of soils and water as well as atmospheric emissions to affect the climate system.