Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Can trees grow in Iceland?

I visited Iceland last summer (see my post about the trip) and couldn't help but notice how barren the landscape is.  Several exhibits we visited explained that Iceland used to have forests, but that seemed a bit far-fetched as we looked around the lava fields and glaciers.  Well, it turns out that this barren landscape isn't 100% natural -- humans caused much of the deforestation.  Now Icelanders are trying to bring back their forests. 

This project brings up many questions -- will it work? how will native species interact with the non-native tree species? how will climate change affect the forests? are the forests designed to enhance natural areas or are they more of an agricultural product? how will forests affect the microclimates in Iceland? how much fossil fuel will be saved from not transporting wood to Iceland from abroad?  I'm eagerly following this story!

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