In the past few years we have seen millions of trees dying across the globe. Climate change is to blame as the Trees are struggling to cope with the extreme weather and temperature variations associated with global warming.
The “Stomata” or breathing holes in Trees is used to absorb CO2, but also release water when open. According to scientists the stomata in some trees is closing as early as 9am on any given day. This is leading to the trees starving themselves to death! A massive spike in insect and Fungal attacks is also occurring. These attacks are more common when the Trees are of poor health. Kind of like HIV for trees!
The following transcript from taken from the ABC’s Science Program Catalyst.
The Rocky Mountains of North America – home to some of the most beautiful, pristine forests in the world. But the shades of burnt golden reds aren’t the changing tones of Autumn; they’re dead and dying trees.
Dr Craig Allen We’re looking at tree mortality over a scale of tens of millions of hectares in the last decade alone.
In fact, right across the globe, there are reports of trees dying in mass numbers.
Anja Taylor From Europe, from Africa, even right across the Amazon, and right here in Australia.
Here in the Perth hills, trees have been dropping by the tens of thousands. Inside their carcasses are thriving parasites.
Dr George Matusick So this is a larvae, a late instar larvae.
Anja Taylor Oh, he’s alive and well.
These Long Horned borers have been feasting on the live wood of Jarrah and Marri, the two dominant Eucalypt species in south-west Western Australia. The insect is a native, and until recently, wasn’t a problem.
Dr George Matusick The numbers are scary. Where we might have seen one, maybe two per square metre, now we’re seeing fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty. We’ve seen even as high as one hundred. So be one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven, twelve.
TRANSCRIPT From ABC