Tag Archives: trees

Chemical tags in ear bones track Alaska’s Bristol Bay salmon

A chemical signature recorded on the ear bones of Chinook salmon from Alaska’s Bristol Bay region could tell scientists and resource managers where they are born and how they spend their first year of life. (more…)

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Slippery bark protects trees from pine beetle attack, according to CU-Boulder study

Trees with smoother bark are better at repelling attacks by mountain pine beetles, which have difficulty gripping the slippery surface, according to a new study by the University of Colorado Boulder.

The findings, published online in the journal Functional Ecology, may help land managers make decisions about which trees to cull and which to keep in order to best protect forested properties against pine beetle infestation. (more…)

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Researcher Discovers Bug That Might Only Exist on Mizzou’s Campus

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The University of Missouri has Jesse Hall, Faurot Field, Memorial Union and the Columns. Now, MU has its own bug. An MU researcher has discovered a new insect on campus and given it a Mizzou name. Ben Puttler, assistant professor emeritus of plant sciences at the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, first discovered Aphis Mizzou in 2005 while conducting research on wasps on the MU campus.

The insect, Aphis Mizzou, is a member of the aphid family of bugs. Aphids are tiny insects that live by feeding on the sap of plants. Nearly all annual and perennial plants, including shrubs and trees, are potential hosts for aphids. When feeding on these plants, aphids can crumple leaves, distort plant tissue and bend stems. There are 5,000 species of aphids known in the world, but only 150 live in North America. (more…)

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NASA Maps How Nutrients Affect Plant Productivity

PASADENA, Calif. – A new analysis led by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., has estimated how much the growth of plants worldwide is limited by the amount of nutrients available in their soil. The maps produced from the research will be particularly useful in evaluating how much carbon dioxide Earth’s ecosystems may be able to soak up as greenhouse gas levels increase.

A research team led by JPL research scientist Josh Fisher used 19 years of data from NASA, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and international satellites to assess the maximum possible growth of vegetation all over the world based upon available water and light conditions. The scientists then cross-compared that potential maximum with observed vegetation productivity as measured by satellites. This is the first time such an analysis has been conducted. (more…)

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Climate Change to Cripple Southwestern Forests

Trees Face Rising Drought Stress and Mortality as Climate Warms

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. — Combine the tree-ring growth record with historical information, climate records, and computer-model projections of future climate trends, and you get a grim picture for the future of trees in the southwestern United States. That’s the word from a team of scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory, the U.S. Geological Survey, University of Arizona, and other partner organizations.

The research, published in Nature Climate Change this week, concluded that if the Southwest is warmer and drier in the near future, widespread tree mortality likely will cause substantial changes in forest and species distributions. (more…)

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Salt Seeds Clouds in the Amazon Rainforest

It’s morning, deep in the Amazon jungle. In the still air innumerable leaves glisten with moisture, and fog drifts through the trees. As the sun rises, clouds appear and float across the forest canopy … but where do they come from? Water vapor needs soluble particles to condense on. Airborne particles are the seeds of liquid droplets in fog, mist, and clouds.

To learn how aerosol particles form in the Amazon, Mary Gilles of the Chemical Sciences Division at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and David Kilcoyne of the Lab’s Advanced Light Source (ALS) worked with Christopher Pöhlker of Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Chemistry (MPIC) as part of an international team of scientists led by MPIC’s Meinrat Andreae and Ulrich Pöschl. They analyzed samples of naturally formed aerosols collected above the forest floor, deep in the rainforest. (more…)

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Yale Researchers Find New Cause of Climate Change: Trees

Researchers at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies have discovered that diseased trees may be a significant cause of global warming. The university’s researchers tested the trees at the Yale Myers Forest near their campus in Connecticut and discovered that rotting trees release a significant amount of methane gas, a highly flammable type of natural gas that can cause climate change in large quantities. The trees at the Yale Myers Forest produce emissions that are equivalent to burning 40 gallons of gas per acre of forest per year.

In their academic report on this matter, “Elevated Methane Concentrations in Trees of an Upland Forest,” the Yale University research team noted that trees that release methane gas look just like ordinary trees on the outside. However, on the inside, they’re being eaten alive by fungus. And the fungus that rots these trees helps fuel methane production because it makes the trees a hospitable breeding ground for methanogens, tiny organisms that create methane. (more…)

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Handful of Heavyweight Trees Per Acre Are Forest Champs

Big trees three or more feet in diameter accounted for nearly half the biomass measured at a Yosemite National Park site, yet represented only 1 percent of the trees growing there.

This means just a few towering white fir, sugar pine and incense cedars per acre at the Yosemite site are disproportionately responsible for photosynthesis, converting carbon dioxide into plant tissue and sequestering that carbon in the forest, sometimes for centuries, according to James Lutz, a University of Washington research scientist in environmental and forest sciences. He’s lead author of a paper on the largest quantitative study yet of the importance of big trees in temperate forests being published online May 2 on PLoS ONE. (more…)

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