fast, die young” also applies to forests
How might global climate change affect forests? How fast a forest renews itself may affect how fast it will respond to the climate changes expected in the future. Environmental changes that increase forest productivity may also increase forest turnover rates, with the potential for cascading effects on wildlife, biodiversity, and forest carbon storage.
vegetation transect along the Sierran Pacific Crest Trail
has climatic variation influenced treeline dynamics in the
For most of the past 3,500 years, Sierra treeline was higher than it is today. From treerings and remnant stands of ancient Foxtail pines, scientists are able to reconstruct the climatic conditions that cause treeline to fluctuate as well as how global warming might influence treeline in the future.
Ages of Some Large Giant Sequoias:
Sequoia & Kings Canyon's Vegetation:
From Muhlenbergia filiformis to Sequoiadendron giganteum
By Laura Pilewski Vegetation-mapping crew field botanist, Sequoia National Park
Follow a small band of botanists as they roam alpine peaks mapping and inventorying the flowers and plants of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.
Pools - Ephemeral Oasis of the Foothills
by Alisa Durgarian, M.A., CSU Fresno
Nestled among the grasses and oaks of the foothills along the Sierra's west slope, vernal pools are an unheralded but vital part of that oak/grassland community. Biologist Alisa Durgarian explains the unique conditions that form their incredible diversity and where to see them.
Treeline Dynamics in a Changing Climate
Hikers on the John Muir Trail might wonder at the expanses of wind blasted snags far above the present living forest. When did those trees live? How did they die? What does global warming mean for Sierran forests?
Fire is a vital part of the Sierra forest ecosystem. Tree-ring analyses allows scientists to date the frequency and intensity of natural fires to better understand the role between climate cycles and fire frequency.
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