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Yellowstone's forests could be grassland in just a few decades

Yellowstone's forests could be grassland in just a few decades

Science
Jan. 18 (UPI) -- The combination of warming, drought and wildfire could turn Yellowstone's forests into grassland by the middle of the century, scientists warn. Wildfires are a normal occurrence in most forests in the American West. Large fires are less common. In Yellowstone, big blazes rip through the park once every 100 to 300 years. Flora and fauna in Yellowstone are adapted to periodic large fires, but they need time to recover and regenerate. But according to a new study, large fires are becoming more common, and hotter, drier conditions are making it more difficult for plant and animal species to repopulate ecosystems scorched by wildfire. As prolonged droughts, extreme heatwaves and bigger fires become the new norm, scientists worry Yellowstone's forests will be grassland in just ...