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Unformatted text preview: Redwood Forest Ecosystem Presentation Why our ecosystem should be selected as the California state ecosystem 10 minutes long A) Basic Background Information About Ecosystem 1. Coastal redwood forests are found in only one place in the world­ Northwestern California and Southwestern Oregon. They do not extend more than 50 miles inland. Coastal redwoods occupy a narrow strip of land approximately 470 miles in length and 5–47 mile width along the Pacific coast of North America. C alifornia is home to 31 redwood state and national parks. Coastal redwoods are the tallest trees in the world and stand up to 378 feet tall and grow up to 2,200 years old. 2. Abiotic Conditions: redwoods require a massive amount of moisture to survive. The annual precipitation of 71 inches means the area receives more precipitation than other portions of the state. Fog is created in the summer when cold ocean meets the dry land. This fog keeps the trees watered during the summer and is where they acquire a third of their moisture. Its distribution is correlated with that of the thickest part of the "California fog belt" where, each day during the summer, cool fog moves off the ocean and onto land.The temperature of the forest is influenced by the Pacific Ocean and ranges from 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit year round. The temperature is vastly different from the warmer conditions throughout the rest of the state, contributing to one of the reasons why the ecosystem is one of the rarest in the world. The decomposing matter of the leaves releases nutrients back to the soil, keeping it rich. It is approximately 50 percent carbon. This topsoil also acts as a shield, protecting Redwood’s shallow roots from being trampled. Plants that grow in redwood forests are able to tolerate shade, acidic soil and some degree of drought that results from the redwood sucking moisture from the soil with all their roots. F erns, huckleberries and rhododendrons love the acidic loamy soil that is created from the constant dropping and decomposition of redwood needles. Biotic Conditions: B ecause these trees are so tall, the treetop needles are exposed to more dry heat than the needles on the branches in the dense canopy below. To compensate for this, redwoods grow treetop needles with tight spikes that conserve moisture, due to little evaporative surface. The lower branches, on the other hand, produce flat needles in order to catch additional light through the thick canopy of branches. Redwood trees flower during the wet and rainy months of December and January. se veral factors, including the heavy rainfall, create a soil with fewer nutrients than the trees need, causing them to depend heavily on the entire biotic community of the forest, especially complete recycling of the trees when dead. This forest community includes coast Douglas fir, Pacific madrone, tanoak, western hemlock, and other trees, along with a wide variety of ferns, mosses, mushrooms, and redwood sorrel. Redwood forests provide habitat for a variety of amphibians, bird, mammals, and reptiles.Coastal redwoods are resistant to insect attack, fungal infection, and rot. These properties are conferred by concentrations of terpenoids and tannic acid in redwood leaves, roots, bark, and wood. Coast redwoods are evergreen conifers and have needles instead of leaves. The cones are very small (fits in your palm) compared to the larger pine cones. The roots are also very shallow and trees avoid falling during a storm by spreading their roots very wide, interlocking with the roots of surrounding coast redwood trees for strength. The most distinguishing characteristic of the coast redwood (besides the height) is the reddish brown bark. The tannins in the bark is what gives it the reddish color. The tannins also protects the bark from disease, pests and fire. 3. The redwood ecosystem is home to diverse array of organisms. Some endemic species, species native and only found in this,: Redwood: Sequoia sempervirens (A.K.A coastal redwood) ­ ENDANGERED!!!!! ­ These are the largest trees in the world, growing up to 119 m high and live long lives (oldest being 2,200 years) ­ The bark can be very thick, up to 1­foot (30 cm), and quite soft and fibrous, with a bright red­brown color when freshly exposed ­ usually grow in the mountains where precipitation from the incoming moisture off the ocean is greater. ­ native area provides a unique environment with heavy seasonal rains up to 100 inches (2,500 mm) annually. ­ Coast redwoods are resistant to insect attack, fungal infection, and rot ­ grow in areas prone to flooding ­ Resistant to many disturbances ­ Ex. In response to forest fires, the trees have developed various adaptations. The thick, fibrous bark of coast redwoods is extremely fire­resistant; it grows to at least a foot thick and protects mature trees from fire damage. Redwood Sorrel: Oxalis oregana ­ Native to coast redwood forests! Only found here or in moist Douglas­fir ­ Short, herbaceous plant with erect flowers. The leaves look like three hearts connected. Very cute. Its flower is purplish with 5 white/pink petals and sepals. ­ Photosynthesizes with relative low levels of ambient light; perfect here b/c of shrubbery. ­ When direct sunlight hits, the leaves fold downwards; when shade returns, they reopen ­ Noticeable to the naked eye; takes a few minutes. Western Sword Fern: Polystichum munitum ­ Most abundant fern i n N. America; common along the pacific coast, starting from S. Cali going to southeastern Alaska. ­ 50­160 CM (1.6 ft­5.9 ft) in a tight clump, spreading from base out. ­ Favored habitat MOIST CONIFEROUS FORESTS AT LOW ELEVATIONS; grows best in acidic soil; very tough, can survive occasional dry period, do well with consistent moisture, light sunlight. Prefer cool weather to overly warm. ­ Practically impossible for it to grow in east coast. California Huckleberry: Vaccinium ovatum ( A.K.A Evergreen huckleberry or Winter Huckleberry.) ­ Small­medium evergreen shrub native to western pacific coast; just like the redwood ecosystem. ONLY FOUND HERE!! ­ Grows well in shade or sun; doesn’t need much sun to thrive; very common in shaded/shrubby areas; thrives well in acidic soil. ­ Perfect in redwood ecosystems bc the tall trees and shrubbery produce enough shade that allow the ­ During the summer this plant produces round EDIBLE berries. B) Three Selection Criteria Criterion 1: a) Paleo­endemism refers to a species that was formerly widespread but is now restricted to a smaller area. It is a br anch of endemism–the ecological state of a species being unique to a certain geographic location. O ther redwood species, possibly ancestors of S equoia sempervirens , were once much more widespread than they are today. Paleobotanists have exposed fossil redwoods from around the western United States and Canada, Northern Mexico, and along the coasts of Europe and Asia. b) Water cycle Redwoods play an important role in the local water cycle both in terms of water quality and water supply. Water circulates from the soil, up their trunks, into the clouds and back to the ground. There is pressure from below as roots absorb water from the soil. V ast root systems of redwoods carpeting our local watersheds also help prevent erosion their deep loamy soils act as natural water filtration and storage systems. The cohesive properties of water keep it moving up the water column in the tree’s sapwood, much like water in a straw.Most critical force, however, is supplied by transpiration ( process of water movement through a plant and its evaporation from aerial parts, such as leaves, stems and flowers) as pores in the tree’s leaves release water vapor into the air, thus pulling more water up the tree. Something interesting about redwoods was the fact that during droughts in California, the local redwood forest continues to tap fog as their main water source, (when water is scarce) and its deep loamy soils, which act like giant sponges, soaking up rainwater as it falls, and slowly releasing it throughout the dry season, slowly release the water it captured from earlier rain. Redwoods that grow along streams provide s hade , keeping the water cool for native fish. c) Trophic levels (forest food web) Like all, if not most, plants or trees, Redwoods acquire their energy, or food source, through the process of photosynthesis ­ process of converting light energy into chemical energy, which in turn fuel the organisms activities. This makes a producer in the large forest food web. It’s incredible height contributes to the large amount of biodiversity that resides within redwood forests. Reason being, many animals rely on the sources that the redwood tree provides in order to survive. Many make nests in the trees tall branches or dig holes into the bark as well. Yellow­cheeked chipmunks and Band­tailed Pigeons Primary, for instance, feed frequently on the California huckleberry that is found on redwood crowns. This makes these creatures (primary consumers), a s they feed off of the food source redwood trees produce as a result to the process of photosynthesis. Moreover, of the many organisms that reside on the redwood tree exists a plant community that is normally found in older redwood trees and are the result of the fact that redwoods shed their leaves. While many fall to the ground, other accumulates on large branches of the redwood and decomposes there into an organic soil called "canopy soil" Seeds of plants and spores of fungi colonize this soil, creating a plant community high in the canopy of redwood trees known as epiphytes ( Primary consumer ). The epiphytes growing in redwood canopies produce food and microhabitats for many species of animals, including beetles, crickets, earthworms, millipedes, mollusks, arthropods and amphibians (S econdary consumers ). Criterion 2: 1.) Mitigating Effects of Unofficial Trails on Ancient Redwood Groves ­ When a visitor steps off an official trail, they may unknowingly harm the forest’s complex ecosystems , damaging tree roots and affecting interactions between old­growth trees, understory plants, regenerating trees, fungal and root networks, soil microbes and the habitat all these provide for animals. ­ These are called social trails ­ Save the Redwoods League funded research by Claudia Voigt, a graduate student studying environmental science and natural resources at Humboldt State University. ­ She evaluated the impacts of social trails on old­growth redwood groves in Redwood National and State Parks (RNSP) in Northern California. ­ The goal for 2015 study was to provide an inventory of social trails and develop a process that land managers can repeat to monitor the impacts of trampling on old­growth redwoods. ­ The trees and the size of the disturbed areas around them were inventoried, along with measurements of surrounding vegetation and soil. In easily accessible groves, there was more damage on social trails near official trails. In less visited sites, d amage increased around the largest ­ ­ ­ trees and trees with large burned out areas at the base (goose pens), large burls, unique bark patterns, and dramatic branches (reiterations). Data from the study can also be used to determine when and where it makes sense to t urn a social into an official trail to make the park experience more engaging for visitors while concentrating them to reduce trampling. study the impacts of recreational visitation over time WE NEED TO PROTECT THEM!!! ­ IT’S A PRIVILEGE TO BE ABLE TO SEE ONE OF THE OLDEST ECOSYSTEMS PRESENT TODAY IN OUR OWN STATE!! WHY TAKE IT FOR GRANTED 2.) Lower Genetic Diversity Puts Giants at Risk ­ League­funded research by Richard Dodd, an Environmental Science Professor at the University of California, Berkeley , confirms that northern groves have lower genetic diversity than central and southern groves. ­ This could have profound consequences for long­term conservation strategies for the species, especially considering the changing global climate. ­ For all living things, the greater their genetic diversity, the greater the chance that a species will produce individuals that can cope with evolving environmental stresses and constraints. ­ In the case of giant sequoias, limited genetics complicate an already complex conservation mission. The range of the giant sequoia is limited to a narrow belt in the mid­Sierra. The trees exist in discrete groves, many isolated from each other by significant distances. Restricted genetics could add another layer of vulnerability to our most magisterial trees. ­ Dodd explained that according to his study, he concludes that the northern groves have been isolated for a considerable time. ­ Because the northern trees don’t have genetic resources comparable to trees in the southern groves, they may not prove as resilient in the face of profound climate change,” said Richard Campbell, League Conservation Science Manager. ­ Dr. Dodd determined that the genes of giant sequoia lineages may play a critical role in adaptation to climate change,” Campbell said. “That could ultimately affect everything from the relative prioritization of conservation programs to determining what trees to plant – and where – during reforestation efforts. Criterion 3: This ecosystem is unique/valuable/important for California because: a. This ecosystem is home to a the redwood stands, an endangered specie, which are home to both spotted owls and marbled murrelet, which are also endangered species. Its resistant to disturbances such as fires and diseases make it very valuable for California, which recently experienced very big forest fires. It is also very important in the local water­cycle in terms of water supply and quality. b. This ecosystem is threatened and endangered for various different reasons. Although they’re able to continue to obtain water through fog during dry/hot weather, these trees are in constant threat through global warming: hotter temperatures are lowering these trees access to water. i. Throughout t heir r anges, t he r edwoods a nd s equoias a re b eing s ubjected t o t he ii. iii. effects o f c limate c hange: t emperature i ncreases, l ess c oastal f og, r eductions i n snowpack a nd e arlier a nnual s nowmelt. Through l and c onversion, r edwood f orestland i s c leared a nd c onverted t o a nother use, o ften a s a r eal e state d evelopment o r v ineyards. given t he d rought, 2 015 p roved t o b e a n i ntense f ire y ear i n C alifornia. B etween January 1 a nd S eptember 1 2, 2 015, C alifornia h ad 5 ,225 f ires t hat b urned w ell o ver 200,000 a cres, m ostly i n N orthern C alifornia. T his i s 4 3% m ore f ires t han a verage f or the p ast f ive y ears. h ot a nd i ntense f ires a re m ore l ikely t o d estroy f orests a nd k ill even t he b iggest, m ost r esilient r edwoods a nd g iant s equoias. c. This ecosystem has been around for centuries, dating back up to 2 thousand years. Humans have a negative toll on this ecosystem i. We l ive i n a n e ra o f u rbanization a nd t echnology, a nd w ith t he t remendous b enefits these a dvances b ring, t hey m ay a lso b e f acilitating a n i ncreasing d etachment f rom nature. M uch m ore t han p revious g enerations, t oday’s c hildren a re g rowing u p without o utdoor p lay a nd r ecreation . K ids i n t he U nited S tates s pend o nly 1 percent o f t heir t ime o utdoors a nd 2 7 p ercent o f t heir t ime i n f ront o f a s creen. O f Americans a ge 6 a nd u p, l ess t han h alf p articipate i n o utdoor r ecreation a t a ll. d. As many of you may or may not know, coastal redwoods are California’s state tree. This ecosystem is home to california’s state tree: the coastal redwood! They’re only found here, so why not make this the state's ecosystem. Resources: ­redwoods/redwood­champions­amid­drought­and­climate­cha nge/ ­under­redwoods/ ...
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  • Spring '08
  • Forte
  • Biology, Redwood, redwood   sorrel.   Redwood, Redwood   trees

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