World's Oldest Trees Dying at Alarming Rate
Research shows 10 times the normal death rate
By Mark Russell, Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2012 7:09 AM CST
A pair of giant redwoods tower above a walkway at the Muir Woods National Monument in Marin County, Calif., March 31, 2008.   (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

(Newser) – In what one researcher calls a "very, very disturbing trend," new research finds that the planet's oldest trees have started dying at 10 times the normal rate, a change that could greatly damage the planet's ecosystems and biodiversity. Researchers blame logging, development, drought, and climate change for the decline of 100- to 300-year-old trees, reports AFP, a new reality found at all latitudes on every continent that is home to them.

"Just as large-bodied animals such as elephants, tigers, and cetaceans have declined drastically in many parts of the world, a growing body of evidence suggests that large old trees could be equally imperiled," said the study's lead author. Among the trees at risk: mountain ash in Australia, pine trees in America, California redwoods, and baobabs in Tanzania. And the decline endangers more than just the woods, as up to 30% of birds and animals in some areas find shelter in those large trees. "Their loss could mean extinction for such creatures," says the researcher.

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Showing 3 of 46 comments
iq145
Jan 25, 2014 3:38 PM CST
SO WHICH IS IT?: http://www.newser.com/story/180802/oldest-trees-are-fastest-growers.html
ppaca
Dec 24, 2012 5:39 PM CST
They're not getting enough carbon dioxide. Photosynthesis is not occurring as it should to keep them alive. We need more CO2 in the environment!
iq145
Dec 24, 2012 3:54 PM CST
GIVE THEM ALL A HUG ?