Submitted by: Estelle Arbellay
Tree rings are like pages of a book, they tell a story. Like sentences are made of words that shape the story, tree rings are built of wood cells that contain ecological information on how trees react to their ever-changing environment. Broad-scale natural disturbances such as wildfires and insect outbreaks leave permanent fine-scale imprints in wood that can be studied retrospectively to determine the frequency and spatial extent of events. Another challenge is to study wood cells to differentiate between disturbance agents that affect the same trees. In a nutshell, wood is also good for ecosystem-based forest management.