Caroline Stromberg, Estella B. Leopold Professor in Biology and Curator of Paleobotany at the Burke Museum of Natural History, co-authors a technical comment Science Magazine. The group used data from Caroline's research (in part) to critique a report on "The extent of forest in dryland biomes" (Bastin, et. al).
Bastin et al. (Reports, 12 May 2017, p. 635) infer forest as more globally extensive than previously estimated using tree cover data. However, their forest definition does not reflect ecosystem function or biotic composition. These structural and climatic definitions inflate forest estimates across the tropics and undermine conservation goals, leading to inappropriate management policies and practices in tropical grassy ecosystems.
Read the full comment in Science.
Fig. 2 Fossil evidence for vegetation containing mixes of trees and grasses