Shocking declines in large old trees worldwide

Woodland Matters

Research from Spain and Sweden in Europe, Brazil, Australia, California and many other parts of the world, provides grim evidence of massive declines of some of the largest organisms on earth – old trees (Lindenmayer et all, Science vol 338 7 December 2012). If populations continue to collapse, as predicted, with them will also disappear the ecological, historic and landscape roles of these keystone structures that cannot be provided by younger trees. John Muir, founding figure of the conservation movement in the USA and a passionate advocate for the giant redwoods of Yosemite National Park (population decline of 24% between the 1930s and 1990s) is no doubt turning in his grave.

Why are large old trees disappearing? As individual trees they are exceptionally vulnerable to a wide range of impacts – intentional removal, new pests and diseases, root compaction and damage, fire and competition – to name a few…

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5 responses to “Shocking declines in large old trees worldwide

  1. Hi Tim
    Thank you for bringing the Woodland Matters blog to my attention. I for one certainly didn’t realise the seriousness of the decline in our old trees.
    Hope you have a fantastic, healthy and prosperous New Year.
    Best Wishes

  2. Reblogged this on Mark Goodwin Photography and commented:
    Well worth reading if you have any interest at all in the future of our woodlands.

  3. Hi Tim,

    How old is that tree? I think it should be more than 300 years…

  4. I’m not sure Angela, it certainly looks very old!

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