Brown bears digging up artificial forests, study shows

Brown bears foraging for food in the Shiretoko Peninsula of Hokkaido, Japan, have been disrupting tree growth in artificial conifer forests, according to a new study published in Ecology. Researchers compared soil and tree samples from human-forested plots with samples from natural forests. They found that the bears’ digging for cicada nymphs damaged tree roots and altered the nitrogen content of the soil, which in turn limited the diameter growth of trees.

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