13 Jun '12, 11am

In the Wild, Seeking an Answer: What Replaces Dying Trees?

In the Wild, Seeking an Answer: What Replaces Dying Trees?

In the Wild, Seeking an Answer: What Replaces Dying Trees? By LAUREN E. OAKES Lauren E. Oakes/Outer Coast Research Project Yellow-cedar decline in the West-Chichagof-Yakobi Wilderness. The coastal mountains of southeastern Alaska rise steeply from the Pacific Ocean. Fjords and channels separate over 1,000 islands from the mainland. Dressed like fishermen, we traipse through forests and crawl through brush as weather fronts whip through inlets and rumble along the outer coast. Duct tape often fails, and “waterproof” data sheets reach saturation by mid-morning. Yet we persist. What I had in my head actually seemed easy. Stage one: measure all the plants and trees in plots of live and dead forests. Two: process the data, make comparisons, run the statistical tests. Three: find out what happens after the yellow-cedars die, a phenomenon linked to climate change. The reality on ...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/13/in-the-wild-see...

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