23 Jul '12, 4pm

Snapshots in Time: The Dynamics of Trees

Snapshots in Time: The Dynamics of Trees

Lauren E. Oakes Trees surveyed recently by the author and her research team on the outer coast of Glacier Bay National Park. Carrying memories of the bright-fanned foliage of yellow-cedar forests in Glacier Bay National Park, I’ll soon be crawling through thick brush amid the skeletons of dead trees in the West-Chichagof Yakobi Wilderness of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. Dead yellow-cedar trees slowly lose their branches to decay over the course of decades. Like telephone poles scattered in patches across the vast landscape, tree boles remain as remnants of forests that once were. My focus is on what plants and trees grow up and around and beneath the standing dead. Since many processes in forest ecology take a long time, scientists studying changes in plant communities often turn to the use of chronosequences, or sets of sites that share similar attributes but ar...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/23/snapshots-in-ti...

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