New research published in the journal 'Science' reveals the world’s oldest trees are dying at an alarming rate.
Image Source: Science Daily BY KERRY LEARY ANCHOR LOGAN TITTLE New research published in the journal “ Science ” reveals the world’s oldest trees are dying at an alarming rate. Science reports the number of large old trees is declining in forests at all latitudes, listing losses from California to Sweden to Australia—and this poses a number of threats to ecosystems across the globe as well. The study showed that trees were not only dying in forest fires, but were also perishing at 10 times the normal rate in non-fire years. A writer for Yale’s Environment 360 reports several factors account for the decline: “...including land clearing, agricultural expansion, human-designed fire regimes, logging, invasive species, and climate change … In addition to providing critical food and shelter for numerous species and playing critical roles in hydrological systems, large trees also store significant amounts of carbon.” Science Daily reports, one researcher believes something needs to be done before it’s too late. “Research is urgently needed to identify the causes of rapid losses of large old trees and strategies for improved management. Without… policy changes, large old trees will diminish or disappear in many ecosystems, leading to losses of their associated biota and ecosystem functions." Researchers who published the study are calling for a worldwide investigation to assess the tree loss.