Trees in Trouble: Wildfires, Infestations, and Climate Change Hit the West

Counterpoint. Apr. 2020. 304p. ISBN 9781640091351. $26. SCI
In this highly informative book, Mathews (Natural History of the Pacific Northwest Mountains) explains the various forces, such as high-severity fires and tree diseases, that are currently wreaking havoc on the health of forests in the western parts of North America. This timely work, while sober reading, offers some hope and a few solutions as to how forests and their trees can adapt, with human help and support, to meet tougher times. Exhaustively researched with an extensive bibliography, this work does not skimp on information. Instead of focusing on just one aspect of the many issues facing western pine forests, Mathews interweaves them to create an overall picture, effectively showing how everything is coming together into a “perfect storm” situation for forests, their trees, and animals that rely on the ecosystem of the forest. The one downside to the book itself is that the presentation of all this information is somewhat muddled, requiring a close reading for full comprehension.
VERDICT Overall, an impressive and prescient addition to an ever-growing oeuvre on the effects of climate change to an environment.

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