audibleecoscience Earth Headphones

Audibleecoscience is a database of podcasts on subjects related to global change biology. It is designed as a resource for the general public and for educators looking to assign "required listening" to their students. Reviews of each podcast and links to the original source have been provided by students taking the IB107 class at the University of Illinois. The database is fully text searchable or you can browse on your favorite subject...
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Forests

Redwood Forest Drying

Media Source: National Park Service
Program Name: Golden Gate Climate Update
Show Name: Redwood Forest Drying
Broadcast Year: 2009
Original Link: http://www.nps.gov/goga/photosmultimedia/climate-update.htm

In California the summer can be very long and dry as most of the rain falls during the winter. Certain areas of California where the redwoods grow are known for their fog. This fog makes the forests cooler, more humid, and it provides extra water. What makes the redwood trees so special is that they are able to directly absorb this water vapor above ground through their leaves. This extra water helps get the trees through the summer when the soil often dries up. Without this fog it is severely questionable whether the redwoods would be able to survive California’s harsh summers.  Based on climate records that are a hundred years old, there appears to be a trend in the last 50 years that the frequency of the fog has been decreasing and this only appears to continue in the foreseeable future. This could have potentially disastrous consequences for the redwood forests. Not only this but the redwood forests are known for their shrubs and ferns on the forest floor. Like the redwoods the shrubs cool down the forest and bring water into the ecosystem by striping fog out of the air. There are already far fewer ferns in southern parts of the forest owing to a decrease in the amount of fog days. This is very troublesome as the ferns are an indicator species for the redwoods due to their shorter lifespan.


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