Gallery: Infographic: Study Shows World’s Oldest Trees Are Dying Off Ra...

 

The world’s oldest trees are dying off at an alarming rate, according to recent study by Australian National University professor David Lindenmayer. Research conducted on some of the world’s greatest forests – from Yosemite National Park and the Brazilian Rainforest – shows that the die-off rate of trees between 100 to 300 years is a grave concern, and climate change is one of the biggest reasons for their decline. This beautiful infographic by Michael Paukner shows the locations of some of the world’s oldest – and most at risk – trees.

+ Michael Paukner

Via Kateoplis

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  1. Terry Reed November 26, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    I think it’s pollution and warming. I read this, a while back:
    “The epidemic of dying trees which has struck the forest resources of the world appears to be quite mysterious. But the most convincing evidence points to air pollution, specially sulfur dioxide and oxides of nitrogen spewed in the air by the ton from electrical generating stations, industrial boilers, smelting plants and automobiles located thousands of miles away. One school of thought points out, by itself sulfur dioxide can sap the vitality of the tree: so can oxides of nitrogen. But the real problem seems to begin when two gases work in combination in the atmosphere. Hurled into the air by tall smokestacks, the substances mix with water vapour to form sulfuric acid and nitric acid known as acid rain and in the presence of sunlight turn into oxidants such as ozone. When these new chemical mixtures fall to earth as snow or rain or float into forests as wind or fog, they can be far more lethal than the ingredients that went into them.”

    “Acid rain, in the form of dry particles, snow and fog, attacks a tree on all fronts. Airborne pollution settles first on the highest treetops of the forest crown, which acts as a natural windbreak. Acid precipitation filters down to the soil, eats away at the root system and eventually leaches out key nutrients such as calcium and potassium and mobilises toxic metals like aluminum. Once on a leaf or needle, acid rain disrupts the operation of the stomata, the tiny openings that permit a tree to “breathe.” The process of photosynthesis is thrown off balance, and subtle changes take place in the internal chemistry of the tree that result in discolouration and premature aging. Finally acid rain washes away vital nutrients from the leaves and needles so that the tree slowly starves to death, its respiratory, circulatory and digestive systems being crippled. Much like an AIDS victim whose immune system has broken down, the ailing tree is defenceless against the ravages of nature.” (from an obscure 2006 article from Bangladesh that declares “Depletion of Forest Cover Portends Climatic Disaster”

    It’s more than warming, or it’s warming PLUS insecticides PLUS increase in insects PLUS … PLUS … PLUS … I don’t think there is any ONE cause, but rather, all the ’causes’ together are killing the lungs of the world.

    Check out more info at at Eco-systems.org, an inactive site which has a huge assembly of reports of trees dying from pollution around the world. It includes a 1998 essay, “Tree Death and Forest Decline’, by Paul Donahue.

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