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Ancient Trees Keep Surrounding Forests Alive

Just like mothers shape their children’s immune systems through the unique properties of their breast milk, it turns out ancient trees shape the health of surrounding forests through genetic resilience.

Ancient trees, forests

Chuck Cannon, director of The Morton Arboretum’s Centre for Tree Science, recently reported that old and ancient trees radically impact the genetic diversity of trees that surround them.

These ancient trees have survived countless environmental changes over hundreds or even thousands of years, including disease and climate fluctuation. They have proven to be able to pass this resilience onto their forrest, helping it thrive through changes in the environment.

Not only that, but ancient trees are able to sequester a much larger amount of carbon from the atmosphere compared to typically mature trees!

Unfortunately, it isn’t all good news.

As the climate changes, the average mortality rate for trees goes up, and while we can plant trees in an effort to combat this, every ancient tree lost takes thousands of years to regain.

“This study recalls the urgent need for a global strategy to conserve biodiversity, not only by preserving intact forests, but in particular the small remnant of a few ancient trees that have survived in managed forest landscapes.” – Gianluca Piovesan, ecological researcher.

An Article by Subpod

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