Millions of California trees threatened by drought

2015-12-29 19:05
(File, AP)

(File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - As many as 58 million large trees in California are threatened by record drought afflicting the state since 2011, says a study.

Even if the weather phenomenon called El Nino produces more precipitation, California's forests could suffer irreversible change, the report said.

Besides the lack of water, high temperatures and a destructive insect called the bark beetle also raise the risk of forest mortality, said the study published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"California relies on its forests for providing water and carbon storage, as well as timber products, tourism, and recreation, so they are tremendously important ecologically, economically, and culturally," wrote Greg Asner, an ecology expert with the Carnegie Institution.

He added: "The drought put the forests in tremendous peril, a situation that may cause long-term changes in ecosystems that could impact animal habitats and biodiversity."

In this study California's forests were observed with laser-guided imaging equipment.

The researchers found that some 10.6 million hectares of forest with up to 888 million large trees, including the famed sequoias, have endured major water shortages from 2011 to 2015.

Of these, up to 58 million trees have suffered a water deficit classified as extremely threatening to long-term forest health.

Read more on:    us  |  weather

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.