Posts Tagged ‘trees’

DNR weekend reading: Elwha restoration update, CO2 trends and sleepy trees

November 2, 2013
Abercrombie Mountain

Fall scenery near Abercrombie Mountain (elev. 7308) in northeast Washington State. Photo: Dale Danell/DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

environment360: The Ambitious Restoration of An Undammed Western River
With the dismantling of two dams on Washington state’s Elwha River, the world’s largest dam removal project is almost complete. Now, in one of the most extensive U.S. ecological restorations ever attempted, efforts are underway to revive one of the Pacific Northwest’s great salmon rivers.

Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency: Trends in global CO2 emissions: 2013 report
the increase in global CO2 emissions in that year slowed down to 1.1% (or 1.4%, not accounting the extra day in the leap year), which was less than half the average annual increase of 2.9% over the last decade. This development signals a shift towards less fossil-fuel-intensive activities, more use of renewable energy and increased energy saving

Technische Universitaet Muenchen: Warm Winters Let Trees Sleep Longer
Since warmer winters can be expected as the climate changes, the spring development phase for many typical forest trees might start later and later – giving an advantage to shrubs and invasive trees from warmer climates that don’t depend on the cold as factor to time their spring regrowth.

North Carolina State University: Listen Up: Oysters May Use Sound to Select a Home
Oysters begin their lives as tiny drifters, but when they mature they settle on reefs. New research from North Carolina State University shows that the sounds of the reef may attract the young oysters, helping them locate their permanent home.

 

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DNR weekend reading: Why injured trees don’t ‘bleed’ to death; stressed out salmon; and other stories

September 28, 2013
Willapa Bay sunrise

A late August sunrise over Willapa Bay in western Washington. DNR manages many tideland leases for aquaculture in Willapa Bay — one of the richest shellfish areas in the world. Photo: Craig Zora/DNR.

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics gathered by DNR for your weekend reading:

Virginia Tech University: Why don’t trees ‘bleed’ to death when they get injured?
Using a powerful new type of microscope, scientists have discovered how “check valves” in wood cells control sap flow and protect trees when they are injured. The knowledge may lead to better ways of extracting natural chemicals from wood to make products ranging from medicinal polymers to sugars that are the basis for bioenergy systems.

Aarhus University (Denmark): Uphill for the trees of the world
You may need to get out your mountain boots to go for a walk in the woods in the future. A new study shows that forests are to an increasing extent growing on steep slopes all over the world.

The Earth Institute/Columbia University: Wind and Rain Belts to Shift North as Planet Warms, Says Study
As human activity continues to heat the planet, a northward shift of Earth’s wind and rain belts could make a broad swath of regions drier, including the Middle East and American West, while making monsoon Asia and equatorial Africa wetter, says a new study

Science Daily: Improving Salmon’s Success in the Wild and Aquaculture
Have you ever been stressed and forgot what you were doing? Chronic mild stress may explain why many wild salmon don´t return to our rivers and why 20% of farmed salmon production is lost every year.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL): NREL Calculates Emissions and Costs of Power Plant Cycling Necessary for Increased Wind and Solar in the West
New research quantifies the potential impacts of increasing wind and solar power generation on the operators of fossil-fueled power plants in the West. To accommodate higher amounts of wind and solar power on the electric grid, utilities must ramp down and ramp up or stop and start conventional generators more frequently to provide reliable power for their customers — a practice called cycling.

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DNR weekend reading: Will climate change put tree species in the ‘fast lane’?

September 14, 2013
eelgrass

Native eel grass, like this clump seen in a Puget Sound tidal pool, is an indicator of the health of aquatic areas. Photo: DNR

Here are links to articles about recent research, discoveries and other news about forests, climate, energy and other science topics:

Duke University: Climate Change May Speed Up Forests’ Life Cycles
Instead of migrating northward via seed dispersal to cooler climates as predicted, trees in most forests are responding to a warming climate by staying in place – but speeding up their life cycles.

European Geosciences Union: Tiny plankton could have big impact on climate
As the climate changes and oceans’ acidity increases, tiny plankton seem set to succeed. While the smallest plankton groups would thrive under elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, that could cause an imbalance in the food web as well as decrease ocean CO2 uptake, an important regulator of global climate.

University of Maryland: Scientists find “fingers” of heat below Earth’s surface
Scientists have used seismic waves to detect previously unknown “fingers” of heat, some thousands of miles long, in Earth’s upper mantle. This helps explain the “hotspot volcanoes” that give birth to island chains such as Hawaii and Tahiti.

Dept. of Energy/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Climate benefit for cutting soot, methane smaller than previous estimates
Cutting the amount of short-lived, climate-warming emissions such as soot and methane in our skies won’t limit global warming as much as previous studies have suggested, a new analysis shows.

Scientific American: Crop Pests Spreading North with Global Warming
Crop pests and diseases are moving towards the poles at about the same speed as warmer temperatures. New findings suggest that climate change is driving their relocation, and raises major concerns about food security.

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DNR weekend reading: Urban trees save lives; Purple sea urchins may outwit ocean acidification; and more

June 22, 2013
Douglas fir burn scars

Older Douglas-fir trees (center) still show scars from the massive Yacolt Burn wildfire of 1902 in southwest Washington state. Photo: Florian Deisenhofer/DNR.

Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:

US Forest Service, Northern Research Station: Study Finds Urban Trees are Removing Fine Particulate Air Pollution, Saving Lives
The ability of trees to remove fine particulate air pollution — associated with premature mortality, pulmonary inflammation, accelerated atherosclerosis, and other illnesses — saves an average of one life every year per city, concludes a U.S. Forest Service study of urban forests in 10 major U.S. cities.

UC Santa Barbara: Rapid Adaptation Is Purple Sea Urchins’ Weapon Against Ocean Acidification
In the race against climate change and ocean acidification, some sea urchins may still have a few tricks up their spiny sleeves, suggesting that adaptation will likely play a large role for the sea creatures as the carbon content of the ocean increases.

Bonn University: The contribution of particulate matter to forest decline
Air-bourne pollution containing large amounts of particulate matter appears to attack the protective wax-like coating on tree leaves and needles — a factor that lowers a tree’s resistance to drought and which may be a cause of forest decline around the world.  (more…)

Tell Dad to ‘Take a Hike’

June 14, 2013
TableMtNRCA

Enjoy a picnic in the wildflowers and sunshine for Father’s Day, International Picnic Day, and the Summer Solstice this week. Photo: DNR

…A nature hike that is.

This Father’s Day, show Dad how much you appreciate him with a Discover Pass and treat him to a special trip to one of our recreation sites, and once… just this once… let him beat you up the trail!

 You and Dad can visit one of the treasured sites on DNR-managed state lands (below) for a day or just a couple of hours this weekend—and discover your favorite summer hang-out. Read on for great ideas to get Dad hiking… (more…)

Trees just now showing effects of last summer’s drought

June 10, 2013
Drought tree

Trees in several parts of Washington State are just now showing the damage caused by a stress reaction to dry conditions last summer and this spring. Photo: DNR.

DNR has received many calls from the public in recent weeks about trees whose leaves or needles are turning red or, even, dying.

Glenn Kohler, a DNR forest entomologist, has been investigating and says that Douglas-fir trees between 5 and 15 years old appear to be the ones most affected, but some larger trees are showing symptoms, too. Symptoms include entirely red crowns, red tops and red branches, he says.

“In a typical year, this type of damage may have many causes, but this year it is primarily the result of an extended period with little to no rain during August and September 2012 and a drier-than-normal spring in 2013.”

Most of the trees that Kohler and his colleagues at DNR have examined show no indication of being killed by pathogens, insects, or other animals. Although some trees have been attacked by one of three different species of bark beetles, all signs are that these beetles moved into the trees after they were killed by the dry conditions, Kohler points out.

The damage has been most severe in areas with rocky soils, such as in glacial outwash around the Puget Sound. Fortunately, even in the hardest-hit stands, most trees have had adequate water and are unaffected. Landowners may see an increase in the number of red trees as the weather heats up this summer. If green trees have put out a flush of new expanding bright needles on their branch tips this spring, they are likely to survive, Kohler adds.

Additional information can be found in a report by the Oregon Department of Forestry on the symptoms of water stress injuries to Douglas-fir and other conifers. A longer article on drought effects will be in the next issue of Forest Stewardship Notes, a quarterly publication of DNR and the Washington State University Extension.

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DNR weekend reading: Wildfire, climate change and those mysterious whale calls

May 25, 2013
Swakane Canyon Fire-2010

Smoke billows over the Swakane Canyon Fire near Wenatchee in 2010. Photo Danielle Munzing/DNR

Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:

US Forest ServiceWildfire, Wildlands, and People: Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface
People who live in the wildland-urban interface — areas near forests, grasslands and other areas exposed to wildfire — may face increasing risk and property damage from wildfires of all sizes in coming decades. Planners, developers, and others can help these communities adapt to wildfire through education, planning, and mitigation.

US Forest Service: Climate Change and Wildfire
Some studies predict that wildfires will increase by 50 percent across the United States under a changing climate, and over 100 percent in areas of the West by 2050. Of equal concern to scientists and policymakers alike are the atmospheric effects of wildfire emissions–gases, particles, water, and heat–and the affect they may have on climate.

Science DailyOrigins of Human Culture Linked to Rapid Climate Change
Rapid climate change during the Middle Stone Age, between 80,000 and 40,000 years ago, during the Middle Stone Age, sparked surges in cultural innovation in early modern human populations, according to new research.

Earthfix/KUOW: Underwater Earthquake Recordings Reveal Mysterious Whale Calls
Researchers from the University of Washington have discovered that earthquake-detecting sensors off Vancouver Island also can monitor the swimming patterns of fin whales, the second-largest animal, after the blue whale but still a mystery to many.

Scientific American: Why Manhattan’s Green Roofs Don’t Work–and How to Fix Them
City rooftops covered with vegetation are seen as a way to reduce the urban heat-island effect and cut energy usage–but so far, the results have been unimpressive. With some simple, lost-cost modifications, many rooftop forests can do a better job.

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DNR weekend reading: Economic value of urban trees, forests shifting northward and other stories

May 11, 2013
Capitol State Forest snag

A snag like this one in Capitol State Forest can provide shelter and forage to birds, small mammals, and other wildlife. Photo: Jessica Payne/DNR.

Here are links to articles about natural resources, climate, energy and other topics published recently by universities, scientific journals, organizations, and other sources:

US Forest Service: US urban trees store carbon, provide billions in economic value
America’s urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent U.S. Forest Service study. The annual net carbon uptake by these trees is estimated at 21 million tons and their economic benefit at $1.5 billion.

NASA–Jet Propulsion Laboratory: NASA Opens New Era in Measuring Western U.S. Snowpack
A new NASA airborne mission has created the first maps of the entire snowpack of two major mountain watersheds in California and Colorado, producing the most accurate measurements to date of how much water they hold. The agency plans to exand the mapping to other mountain watersheds.

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory: New Study: As Climate Changes, Boreal Forests to Shift North and Relinquish More Carbon Than Expected
Boreal forests will likely shift north at a steady clip this century. Along the way, the vegetation will relinquish more trapped carbon than most current climate models predict.

University of Wisconsin: Decline in snow cover spells trouble for many plants, animals
In a warming world, winter and spring snow cover in the Northern Hemisphere is in decline, putting at risk many plants and animals that depend on the space beneath the snow to survive the blustery chill of winter.

University of Calgary: Human impacts on natural world underestimated
A comprehensive five-year study by University of Calgary ecologists indicates that conservation research may not giving enough consideration to the influence of human activity on natural ecosystems and food chains.

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Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work® at DNR

April 26, 2013
Smokey Beark DNR

Kids had the chance to meet Smokey Bear at DNR’s Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work® Day event. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

Yesterday the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) celebrated Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work® Day with the children of state employees.

This year, the Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work® Foundation partnered with the National Association of State Foresters to introduce children to careers in forestry. Almost a hundred kids came out to learn about the jobs we do at DNR, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Washington Department of Agriculture.

For half a day, the Natural Resources Building here in Olympia was transformed into an education fair featuring trees, bugs, and geodes. Kids had an opportunity to learn how foresters work in the woods and try to stump the forester with their questions. They got up close with bugs while learning about forest health from one of DNR’s entomologists.

Washington Geology Library

This little girl is proud to show off a sparkly geode at the Washington Geology Library exhibit for the event. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

At the Washington Geology Library, children learned the life-cycle of a rock and identified special rocks, from geodes to the Washington state gem:petrified wood. Many kids put their directional skills to the test by learning to use a compass and trying to complete the orienteering course mapped out by DNR’s recreation staff. They were given a noble fir seedling from DNR’s Webster Nursery and practiced proper planting with the Washington Conservation Corps Urban Forestry team.

DNR bugs

These little girls got to get an up close look at the bugs that affect the health of Washington’s trees. Photo by: DNR/Jessica Payne

Participants also learned how Geographic Information System (GIS) specialists make maps and use technology to help DNR teams fight wildland fires.

They also experienced what it’s like to be a DNR firefighter by meeting some of the team, trying on personal protective equipment, and meeting Smokey Bear, who paid a special visit. Even Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark came down to meet the children, thank the volunteers, and snap a quick photo with Smokey.

View photos from the event on our Flickr page here.

DNR is happy to have had the opportunity to recruit our future generations of state land managers. If you are interested in finding out about the several types of careers that DNR has to offer, visit our jobs page and apply to work with DNR today.

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Opportunities to learn about trees, forestry and forest health

April 17, 2013
Douglas fir killed as a result of beetle attack. Beetle populations increase following fire, blowdown, or harvest as a supply of inner bark becomes more available. Under such circumstances, beetle populations can increase to the point where otherwise healthy trees can be killed. Photo: Robert Van Pelt/DNR.

Douglas fir killed as a result of beetle attack. Beetle populations increase following fire, blowdown, or harvest as a supply of inner bark becomes more available. Under such circumstances, beetle populations can increase to the point where otherwise healthy trees can be killed. Photo: Robert Van Pelt/DNR.

Do you own forestland? Hope to own a small parcel of it someday? Or just want to learn what goes into owning and caring for a wood lot of your own? DNR and the Washington State University Extension team up next month for a ‘Hands-On Forest Health Workshop’ in Glenwood. The Saturday, May 11, workshop will teach you the indicators of forest health and how to assess your forest’s health risks. You’ll even get out in the woods (rain or shine) for some learning in the field… or woods, to be precise. Course instructors will include entomologists from DNR and WSU, and a DNR forest health specialist. Hurry. These workshops fill up quickly. (Glenwood, Washington is 25 miles northwest of Goldendale, or 32 miles northeast of White Salmon)

Prefer to get your education online? WSU Extension’s ‘Forest Stewardship University’ offers online learning modules designed for forest owners in the Pacific Northwest. The courses are low-cost and you can try out a few free sample modules before purchasing to see if online learning is for you.

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