Even species ‘superbly adapted’ for Australia’s harsh conditions suffered, with up to 60% of trees dying in some areas

The drought and heatwaves that seared eastern Australia in the lead-up to the 2019-20 black summer bushfires killed as much as 60% of the trees in some areas that escaped the fires, according to new research.

While Australian species are typically hardened to extreme conditions, the record heat and dryness of 2019 pushed some common tree varieties beyond their thresholds, potentially threatening whole ecosystems if they don’t grow back.

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