X

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

(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.

story continues below

"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. (Read more trees stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
X