of redwoods for ideal economic use. This process is supposed to combat the damaging
overpopulation of trees, but counteracts the efforts because of the vast number of trees trying to regenerate at the same time. (wildcaliforna.org) Fire patterns have been a threat to the second- growth forests because of the weakness of the thinned trees and because of the fire’s ability to jump from canopy to canopy when the trees are generally uniform. Nature does not work in complete unison; old-growth forests exemplify the authenticity of a balanced forest ecosystem. Despite the wavering tactics of redwood restoration, parts of these process prove to be beneficial to the conservation and revival of old-growth forests through improving structure, species balance and understory vegetation development. (wildcalifornia.org) There are organizations and programs that are taking large steps in redwood conservation; the Redwood Genome Project is a five-year program that plans to restore old-growth and second-growth forests through providing genetic tools. Through selective harvesting and skilled research of individual trees, the project hopes to facilitate characteristics of old-growth forests to ensure a brighter future for the upcoming generations. “We need to understand our redwoods on the genomic scale if we hope to restore these forests to their rightful grandeur”, declares Save the Redwoods. The complete genomes of coast redwoods need to be known to revive them properly; in the past, the genetics have been ignored as many of the ‘revival’ practices damage the gene pools of redwoods. The DNA testing of the world’s oldest trees will surpass any largescale DNA testing every accomplished. In 2000, the US government funded the Human Genome Project which included $3 billon worth of international research towards medical understanding and treatment. The Redwood Genome Project was estimated to cost around $500 million until recent technology was developed that will reduce the price and the time to complete the intended feat as the Redwood genome is 10 times larger than the human genome. (pressdemocrat.com) The Redwood Genome project will benefit the scientists who are studying what climate change,
specifically rising temperature, will do to the redwood ecosystems. For example, Emily Limm from Save the Redwoods League is a part of an ongoing research project that is striving to understand the redwoods needs in the time of climate change. Their theory is that if humans can understand how redwoods thrive and what factors assist that abundance, then humans can make changes to their own lives accordingly. A small example of the detailed information being found is that fog frequency has declined by 30% in the past century; this decrease has allowed more light to reach the redwoods and this has caused the redwoods to intake less amounts of water, especially in the summer seasons when they are doing a majority of their growing. Every specific detail and specific action helps the understanding of the redwoods which will aid to the recovery of them.
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- Spring '16
- Dr. Minor
- English, sequoia, redwood forest, Redwood National and State Parks, Coast Redwood, coast redwoods, Redwoods League, Redwood National Forest