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UCSD study gives hope for recovering damaged forests

A new UC San Diego study on tropical forests may give scientists the tools they need to protect these rapidly disappearing ecosystems. KPBS reporter Beth Ford Roth has the story.

Scientists studied forests in regions as varied as Puerto Rico, India, and Thailand. They found that rare species of trees were more likely to survive than the more common trees. This may be because they aren't all competing for the same resources.

UCSD Biology Professor Chris Wills headed up the study. He says these findings may help scientists understand how to help forests recover from over-logging and other damage.

Wills: "This is a little ray of hope here, you know, that if we understand these systems and how resilient they are and how much we can damage them and yet we can bounce back again, I think we will have a better handle on how to manage them in the future."

Wills says the next step is to study exactly how much damage these forests can sustain before they pass the point of no return for recovery. Beth Ford Roth, KPBS news.

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