The Ecological Toll of Wildfires: Prof Talks to Gizmodo

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Gizmodo interviewed U of G wildfire expert Merritt Turetsky for an Aug. 13 article about a new study that examined the ecological consequences of worsening wildfires.

The University of California, Davis-led study showed how larger, hotter fires in the Sierra Nevada are causing lichen — a key component of forest food webs — to diminish.

A professor in the Department of Integrative Biology, Turetsky said the study’s findings echo research being done in northwestern Canada.

Turetsky investigates the impact of climate change on the Canadian landscape, including the incidence of wildfires. As the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Integrative Ecology, she studies plant ecology, biogeochemistry and global change. She looks at how interactions between biological communities and nutrient cycling control the quality of soils and water as well as atmospheric emissions to affect the climate system.