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Yellow-cedar mystery solved.

FOR THE BETTER PART OF THE LAST CENTURY, SWATHS OF yellow-cedar trees have been dying. The phenomenon, called yellow-cedar decline, has affected more than 60 percent of trees in a 600,000-acre region stretching across Alaska and British Columbia British Columbia, province (2001 pop. 3,907,738), 366,255 sq mi (948,600 sq km), including 6,976 sq mi (18,068 sq km) of water surface, W Canada. Geography
. Despite years of research, scientists were unable to find the cause of the massive die-offs. Now, scientists at the USDA USDA,
n.pr See United States Department of Agriculture.
 Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station have found that the decline in yellow-cedar can be attributed to root freezing, a problem that stems from a lack of snow.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

When a layer of snow covers the ground, trees' roots are insulated in·su·late  
tr.v. in·su·lat·ed, in·su·lat·ing, in·su·lates
1. To cause to be in a detached or isolated position. See Synonyms at isolate.

2.
 from exceptionally cold temperatures. Yellow-cedar trees have shallower root systems than many other species, particularly in early spring when smaller, new roots begin to grow, so they are exceptionally vulnerable to root freezing. The species' preference for wetter soils does not help matters, as that type of habitat, when left without an insulating layer of snow, can freeze solid and turn deadly for the tree's roots.

The research, published in the February issue of BioScience, is the result of 30 years dedicated to studying the phenomenon. Now, foresters finally have an answer to a mystery that has been plaguing the region for decades, but a new issue presents itself: how to go about restoring the species. With the trees so dependent on snow and climate patterns continuing to change, it is difficult to predict where the yellow-cedar could thrive. However, knowing what factors are threatening the tree gives foresters and scientists a chance to create a new template (1) A pre-designed document or data file formatted for common purposes such as a fax, invoice or business letter. If the document contains an automated process, such as a word processing macro or spreadsheet formula, then the programming is already written and embedded in the  for species restoration, which may be useful as more species susceptible to these types of changes continue to feel the effects of a changing climate.

DID YOU KNOW?

Only 21% of forests are migrating north because of climate change. That's 79% that aren't moving fast enough!
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Title Annotation:treelines
Publication:American Forests
Date:Mar 22, 2012
Words:305
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