What kind of natural disaster can help forests grow by allowing some trees to release their seeds, clearing away deadwood, and encouraging new growth?
Scientists almost destroyed the redwood forests of the Sierra Nevada by restricting fires. The seeds of the redwoods can only germinate when subjected to intense heat. Without fires there are no new redwood trees. The fires not only allow the seeds to crack open and germinate but remove the smaller trees, and brush that would shade the young trees. Fires are necessary for the continuation of the mountain redwoods.