Interior Banner for Harvard Museum of Natural History

View short informational videos about New England’s forest history, ecology, and wildlife, and learn about the research of Harvard scientists in our regional forests. Visit the museum to experience the exhibition, New England Forests in the Zofnass Family Gallery.


A History of New England's Forests

This video provides an overview of the landscape history of New England, from European settlement to the present, and explains how it has shaped our modern forest.



Fungi in the Forest

The fungi–including various mushrooms, molds, and yeasts–are critical players in the forest ecosystem. These videos explore the various roles of fungi as parasites, decomposers, and cooperative partners with trees, and feature the research of Harvard scientist Anne Pringle.


How do Forests Work?

Trees are essential components of forests, but a forest is more than a collection of trees. These videos animate the flow of water and nutrients through a tree and describe how forests work, including the processes whereby forest ecosystems help recycle carbon and shelter and purify water.


Life on a Rock, the Lichens

Lichens grow abundantly on the surface of rocks, trees, and even man-made objects. These videos explain the unusual biology of lichens, show their astounding diversity, and profile the field research of a Harvard biologist who studies them.


Our Changing Forests

New England’s forests are living laboratories studied by scientists. These videos feature Harvard botanists, ecologists, and atmospheric scientists measuring how forests circulate carbon through the biosphere, interact with climate, and respond to invasive species.
Photo by Bridget Tivnan.



Old Growth Forest

Virgin old growth forests once blanketed the New England landscape, however today old growth forest is a tiny, but important, component of our regional forests. This video describes the characteristics of old growth and the rich community of plants, animals, and fungi found here.



Wetlands in the Forest

From forest ponds, to bogs and temporary spring pools, New England's forest wetlands are an important link between land and water. This video describes why wetlands are important as habitat for wildlife and to filter and protect our water supply.