‘It’s going to be a lot harder to come back’ – CSU ecologist talks about devastation from fires in Australia

close-up shot of a wildfire in Australia

Photo: Roger Rosentreter/Shutterstock

The wildfires in Australia have brought historic levels of destruction, with at least 12 million acres burned across the country, according to news reports. The Australian government has pledged more than a billion dollars to help with recovery efforts, while celebrities including the musician Pink, comedian Nick Kroll and others around the world also  pledged money to fight the devastation.

Camille Stevens-Rumann, assistant professor of forest and rangeland stewardship at Colorado State University, talked with NBC News about how the blazes may reshape Australia’s ecology.

“If species are adapted to one set of climatic conditions and are now being forced to regenerate in climatic conditions that are very different, it’s going to be a lot harder to come back,” she said.

Stevens-Rumann’s research in CSU’s Warner College of Natural Resources  focuses on how ecosystems recover after major disturbances. Learn more about her research on forest resilience in the face of wildfires and climate change: https://col.st/bBK3z

Stevens-Rumann was previously featured on a segment of NPR’s Science Friday, where she talked about the shifts in ecosystems after a burn.