Giant Sequoias Facing Harsh Historic Drought Stress in California

Giant Sequoias Facing Harsh Historic Drought Stress in California

As per new research by researchers, largest and the oldest living things on earth are facing harsh drought conditions in California. They said that increased patches of brown, dead foliage have been seen in the iconic naturally growing trees, Giant Sequoias, in Sierra Nevada.

Koren Nydick, a National Park Service ecologist, said that the unique feature of the Giant Sequoias is its size and longevity. You will be surprised to know that the trees can grow to nearly 300 feet tall and live more than 3,000 years. The Sequoia National Park in the southern Sierra Nevada is known for 75 distinct groves and is 120 years old.

Though, Giant Sequoias has faced critical wildfires and droughts conditions in past, this fourth year of drought in California has marked by a record-low snow pack and some of the hottest temperatures recorded ever. Nydick said that a single tree requires up to 800 gallons per day. The study will also prove helpful for forestry officials to identify which groves need to be thinned through prescribed burns.

Anthony Ambrose, a tree biologist with the University of California, Berkeley, along with his team collected foliage from 50 of the Giant Sequoias for testing. They also retrieved gauges which they installed few weeks earlier for measuring temperature and humidity.

Scientist said that they will be able to identify patterns of drought stress revealed in the trees by combining the information they collected with the field surveys done by U.S. Geological Survey researchers. The positive thing here is that immense stress from drought has not caused massive deaths in Giant Sequoias.

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