According to Friday reports, California will be facing a gloomy period as its tree die-off rates have increased exponentially, with about 114 percent as compared to last year.
The reports which drew attention to the massive tree die-off rates were released this Friday by the United States Forest Service Pacific Southwest Regional office officials.
According to their report, approximately 62 million trees have died throughout the states in both state, federal, and private lands and territories.
The numbers mark a significant increase as compared to last year’s reports. As 2015 saw over 29 million dead trees, this year marked an 114 percent in tree die-off rates.
The reports and reported numbers are part of the Forest Service’s aerial detection surveys, which were first initiated in 2010.
According to the aerial survey numbers, an estimated number of approximately 102 million trees have died since the beginning of the surveys.
The recent reports have been a cause of concern for the authorities as they have shown that tree die-off rates have marked an increase and are furthermore expected to rise.
In between 2010 and 2014, the number of dead trees came to about 11 million, a number which more than doubled in 2015 alone, as it came to 29 million.
This year’s estimated 62 million will further increase both the total numbers and the death percentage rates, as coming year rates are expected to further increase.
According to authorities, millions of other trees are already weakened and are expected to wither away sometime in either coming years or possibly months.
The United States Forest Services, whose main target is public safety, has been trying to fight the ever increasing tree die-off rates.
One of the methods involved the safety-focused restoration alongside trails, recreation sites, and roads with the help of a $43 million state funding.
Still, both the limited resources and the continuous changes in global weather have meddled with the authorities’ plans which targeted tree die-offs.
Assistant research ecologist, Cameron Barrows, is the coordinator of the Desert Studies Initiative part of the UC Riverside Center for Conservation Biology.
According to him, one of the main causes of the tree deaths is the lack of water, as the state of California is in its sixth drought year.
The water-starved trees are believed to be less capable of fighting off other natural damaging factors such as diseases and beetles.
As winter temperatures increase because of the global warming, the bark beetle’s breeding season also seems to increase. The cold and the winter had previously slowed or killed the multiplication of bacteria and beetles.
The aforementioned Barrows also pointed out the significance of the massive tree die-off rates and the effects it will have on the environment and humans.
According to him, they will generate a domino effect as the trees are vital to the birds, plants, insects, and animals’ ecosystems.
Humans are also very dependent on this biodiversity and further measures will have to be taken so as to try and decrease tree deaths.
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