Future storms will likely permanently alter tropical forests

Future storms will likely permanently alter tropical forests

Hurricane Maria wiped out more trees than any known storm, taking out mostly older trees that were thought to be resistant to storms. According to the study authors, the damage may be a warning of similar events to come.  The researchers determined that Maria killed twice as many trees and broke more than three times as many trunks compared to previous storms. The species that suffered the worst from Maria, with breakage rates up to 12 times those of the other hurricanes, were valuable hardwoods that had a history of being the most resilient to major storms. These giant trees offer specialized habitats for many birds and other animals that smaller trees do not provide.