Mammoth Trees, Champs of the Ecosystem



It’s important to respect your elders, children are reminded. It seems that this goes for trees, too.


Big, old trees dominate many forests worldwide and play crucial ecological services that aren’t immediately obvious, like providing habitat for a wide range of organisms, from fungi to woodpeckers.


Among their many other invaluable roles, the oldsters also store a lot of carbon. In a research plot in California’s Yosemite National Park, big trees (those with a diameter greater than three feet at chest height) account for only 1 percent of trees but store half of the area’s biomass, according to a study published this week in PLoS ONE.


To read the full article published in the New York Times, click here.