Giant Sequoias under Stress Due To Climate Change
Giant sequoias are the largest living things by volume and are also among the oldest living things. Recently scientists studying these gigantic trees revealed that they have noted symptoms of stress caused by California’s historic drought.
Researchers studying the iconic trees said that they saw patches of brown, dead foliage on the trees. They said these patches have started to show up in past years. They said that by taking stock of groves that are most vulnerable, they could better manage to save the forest from the much hotter, drier droughts expected in the future.
Koren Nydick, a National Park Service ecologist and part of the research team focused on the treasured trees, said these trees are beautiful, majestic and some of these trees have lived for more than 3,000 years. There are other trees which can grow much longer and can live longer, but scientists said the giant sequoias re unique for their size and longevity, by growing up to 300 feet tall.
Almost 75 distinct groves, mostly in the southern Sierra Nevada, were critical to the founding of Sequoia National Park 120 years ago. They have survived past wildfires and droughts, but Nydick said this fourth year of drought in California is marked by a record-low snow pack and some of the hottest temperatures recorded in the park.
Researchers hope that the data collected them will help the forestry officials to identify which groves need to be thinned through prescribed burns to allow in more sunlight and give certain trees a larger share of the scarce underground water.
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