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California’s Redwoods Are Dying From The Drought

redwoods are dying

California’s famous Redwoods are dying from the drought.

Yahoo! News reports [1]:

“They require enormous amounts of water,” said Anthony Ambrose [2], a tree biologist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has been studying redwoods and giant sequoias for nearly two decades. “For the big, old trees, they can use more than 2,000 liters of water per day during the summer.”

Water, however, is in increasingly short supply in the Golden State [3]. All around drought-stricken California, coast redwoods appear to be suffering. They’re shedding leaves, turning brown, and dropping undersized cones. Some of the state’s younger trees, situated in parks and residential areas hundreds of miles away from their native forests, are even dying [4].

What does that mean for the state’s ancient redwood forests, where the trees are often centuries old and climb hundreds of feet into the air?

Ambrose and his colleagues Wendy Baxter and Todd Dawson want to answer that question. Last year they started studying the trees at two sites near Santa Cruz, where the redwoods, Douglas firs, and California bay laurel trees all show signs of water stress.

Now they want to take that research to a whole new level to help them understand the long-term effects the drought could have on the redwood forests. Long-term water stress, they fear, could leave the trees susceptible to diseases or insects, make them grow more slowly, reduce their ability to establish seedlings, or even kill them. The trio has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise the $24,000 necessary for the research [5].

So, Why Should You Care? “Redwoods are an iconic key species,” Ambrose said. “They’re the tallest, oldest, and largest trees in the world. Everybody around the world knows about them. People love them, even if they’ve never visited them. They’re beautiful forests and beautiful trees.” He called redwoods, Douglas firs, and bay laurel trees the “charismatic mega-flora” of the forests. Beyond that, any impact on the redwoods and other large trees could cascade through the rest of the ecosystem and even into the economy.

Ambrose said if redwood growth suffers, or if the trees start to die back, it could damage the habitat for other plant and animal species in the forests, such as the marbled murrelet, an imperiled and elusive seabird that nests high in the canopy of old-growth redwoods [6]. It could also affect nearby water quality, fish populations, and fisheries. “That will affect tourism in the area as well,” he said.

It’s important to understand that potential impact now, Ambrose said, because future droughts could present more problems as climate change continues to affect the region.

“One of our concerns is that temperatures are definitely going up,” he said. “Regardless of what happens to the rain and the snow in the mountains, the temperature going up will drive more evaporation from the soil and more transpiration from the trees. That’s going to be a bigger, long-term effect that needs to be considered in terms of the water balance in the forest.”

Redwoods have weathered droughts, fires, floods, and other environmental problems before. “They’re incredibly resilient and resistant to disturbance,” Ambrose said. “But every species has a limit. They start to suffer. Now that we are in this drought, it’s really important that we get a better idea of how these trees are responding to these conditions so we can understand how they might respond to future drought.”

Source:

[1] http://news.yahoo.com/drought-topple-california-towering-redwoods-171309164.html

[2] http://nature.berkeley.edu/dawsonlab/people/anthony-ambrose/

[3] http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/10/23/california-drought-statistics-infographic

[4] http://www.sgvtribune.com/general-news/20150525/california-redwood-trees-stressed-to-breaking-point-by-drought-dying-in-southern-california

[5] https://experiment.com/projects/how-is-drought-impacting-california-s-redwood-forests

[6] http://ecos.fws.gov/speciesProfile/profile/speciesProfile.action?spcode=B08C

Royce Christyn
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  • Sophia Keenesburg

    QUESTION “coast redwoods appear to be suffering”

    Could it be that SALT water is underground towards the trees ….
    NON SALT water is less (my native language is not english) and so the salt water from the sea is towards that place *underground

    Netherlands had that in it’s dunes by getting old natural CLEAN and drinkwater out of the Dunes.
    The salt water from the SEA ……………….. went towards our natural drinkingwater supply cause we took too much out. in Dutch VERZILTING

    Look it up VERZILTING DUINEN

    • KARENALBERTWINSLOW

      You may be right. The aquifer maybe sucking in ocean water to fill itself & mixing with fresh water

    • Ellen Bryant

      Tragic….
      I’ve been complaining about this being due to Weather Modification
      & Geoengineering since 2006. .. . We have CHEMICAL DRY RAIN here…
      Keep having to fill the bird bath, some times right after a “rain”. ..
      the fog is dry, too.. .. People in this area don’t believe it because
      the Chemtrails & Chem-bombs are over the Ocean west of here, so by
      the time they are over head, it just looks like a high fog. We used to
      get 40-60 inches of rain a year… now it’s 20-23 Gov’t Issue “rain”. . .
      .

  • KARENALBERTWINSLOW

    they are shedding undersized pinecones to keep from using as much water. that guy is so stupid. If a tree is stressed it will shed what is doesnt need. Those trees have gone thru more than we know. Yes they are suffering but keep the people & traffic away from them. They have their own eco system & if the ferns are growing around them they are fine. The pine in Northern Wisc are shedding needles & we have had plenty of rain. No bug problems or anything or heat just shedding & yes some are dying it happens.

    • PierreSosnowski

      I don’t know what gives you the right to call anyone stupid. Besides that, I don’t understand what you’re trying to demonstrate. I think your dissertation is poorly argumented, with statements such as “they have their own ecosystem” not making any sense. Of course they do, what is that for an argument ? A puddle is an ecosystem, so is a piece of shit on a branch. “Ferns are growing around them so it’s fine”. Ferns species grow in a wide range of habitat, some are very drought resistant. I’m a bio-engineer, I’ve studied a forest of Spruces in my country in Belgium. It was a remain of an old plantation, which was established on a very bad site for them. From the outside, they didn’t look that bad, their had few needles but that was more a result of them being so close to each other. The ground was covered in ferns so you could think “Ow right, then it must be moist down there!”. Well wrong. The spruces were all rotten from the inside. Paradoxically not because of an exposure to too much water, but because of the attack of mushrooms which decayed the spruces from the inside of the trees. They took advantage of the weak immunity of those trees, induced by a stress caused by a lack of water. And this is usually how it works : you have predisposing factors, such as climate change, then inciting factors like droughts which lead the way to contributing factors such as sensitivity to bugs attacks. It’s called “Mollier’s spiral, look it up. Now I advise you to humble up, especially when you seem to know such few on the subject.

  • Chris Dietrich

    It takes 660 gallons of water to make one burger, 1,000 gallons of water to make a gallon of milk. Save the planet, go vegan. Please research.

    • Ellen Bryant

      Going Vegan won’t stop Weather Modification & Geoengineering… “The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
      Change (IPCC) warns that, despite global side effects and long-term
      consequences, geoengineering techniques involving solar radiation
      management (SRM) should be maintained…..” . . . “In addition to
      warning policymakers in its Summary that Chemtrails must continue, the
      IPCC also denies that such programs exist. Buried within Chapter 7, the
      IPCC simply states, “SRM methods are unimplemented and untested.” ::: http://nsnbc.me/2013/11/12/ipcc-warns-not-to-stop-chemtrails-aka-solar-radiation-management/

    • money

      It takes 5 million gallons of water to frack one gas or oil well & California, despite the drought, is allowing tracking. While yes, animals use water, if a farm is managed well, everything is used and recycled –not poisoned. When you buy plastic vegan shoes they are made of oil. When you eat tofu, it’s from a mono crop and most likely it’s GMO, and doused in chemicals.

  • Ellen Bryant

    Air Tankers fly over USA, Canada and all NATO Nations, daily/nightly
    24/7, spewing Industrial Waste and other undesirables (Black Carbon,
    Aluminum, Barium, Strontium, Humectants, Silver Iodide, etc.) to
    control/modify weather. It’s the fouling of our Atmosphere, by Gov’t
    activities like Aerosol Radiative Forcing AKA Chemtrails and Global
    Dimming; especially since 1997 (US AirForce “Owning the Weather by 2025”
    ). “Global Dimming” means the reflective barrier to stop the Sun on
    Water natural evaporation for real rain/snow. The reflective barrier
    traps in Green House Gasses causing the earth to dehydrate while nature
    is trying to balance. Please get interested in what Weather Modification
    (Search Weather Modification supplies) is all about. The big players
    are NATO, NASA, USAF & Monsanto…There are more than 50 entities
    (Gov’t, Private, Corp.) in our Sky’s atmosphere trying to control the
    weather and keep Nature from doing what Nature does best. Weather is
    what Nature has been doing since the beginning without human
    interference! The “drought” is deliberate (Monsanto sells drought
    resistant plants/seeds). Weather is a Commodity traded on the Chicago
    Mercantile Exchange, just like Soy Beans and Pork Belly’s ::: http://www.theguardian.com/news/2011/aug/14/weatherwatch-weather-derivatives

  • Ellen Bryant

    “The Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
    Change (IPCC) warns that, despite global side effects and long-term
    consequences, geoengineering techniques involving solar radiation
    management (SRM) should be maintained…..” . . . “In addition to
    warning policymakers in its Summary that Chemtrails must continue, the
    IPCC also denies that such programs exist. Buried within Chapter 7, the
    IPCC simply states, “SRM methods are unimplemented and untested.” ::: http://nsnbc.me/2013/11/12/ipcc-warns-not-to-stop-chemtrails-aka-solar-radiation-management/

  • dawnspirit

    If they can induce hurricanes with HAARP they can make it rain in California… or NOT… just sayin’

  • Michael

    California Redwoods are not the oldest, or largest trees in the world. The largest trees are the sequoias, and the oldest trees are debatable, but are not the redwoods. Let’s back up our statements with some facts here.

  • Steve Svensson

    Could cloud seeding be causing the drought. I mean, how much salt does one have to spray into the atmosphere before the earth becomes salted too?

    “The persistent drought that has gripped California for the past year has meant that few storms are crossing through the state. So when they do, state water managers want to extract every bit of water they can — and then some, which is why they’re increasingly turning to seeding the clouds for rain.

    Cloud seeding began as an experimental practice in the late 1940s that eventually became a yearly occurrence for water agencies and hydroelectric utilities. Over the winter period, there are approximately 12 cloud seeding projects across California that operate across 15 watersheds from Lake Almanor to the San Gabriel River.

    The process involves releasing a silver iodide vapor, sometimes supplemented with dry ice, into a cloud system to increase snowfall or rainfall”

    http://baynature.org/2013/11/14/dry-times-california-turns-cloud-seeding/

    • Steve Svensson

      Silver Iodide, also known as silver salt, is being sprayed into our atmosphere and no one questions this. And guess what global warmers. Dry Ice is CO2, and they’re spraying it into our water vapor system. Isn’t CO2 the bad guy behind global warming? Climate change is truly manmade, but it’s not from those evil coal plants.

  • Craig Johnson

    These trees are hundreds of years old. They have been through many droughts before. They’ll survive this one too. Calm down people.