Make like a tree and leaf!

Growing up in this area you are just astounded in the summer with the beauty of this land. Going on hikes in the mountains, taking drives along the coast line where the tree line almost meets the sea, and feeling dwarfed by these silent giants. In the Evergreen State you are home to five types of ecosystems. You leave from a gorgeous melting pot city and can drive less than twenty minutes to find seclusion in the trees. The forests in the Pacific Northwest are very important to the climate here. It’s what defines this area. 

Forests in Pacific NW capture and store large amounts of atmospheric CO2, store more carbon per unit than any other temperate forest in the world. They are often referred to carbon sinks which is where they store more carbon than release it back into the atmosphere  Pacific NW forests are extremely adept in storing carbon. Conifers are most helpful during the rainy seasons than the deciduous angiosperms.

For 3 reasons it is hypothesized they can do this. The mild weather is perfect for the conifers which can photosynthesize during the rainy seasons (fall and winter). The trees are also very old and become bigger as they grow. So they can contain more and more carbon. Then there have less forest fires over the years so the storing of carbon has been consistent and substantial. Even though younger trees take in more carbon, but they are more likely to be cut down so their carbon storage is very low.

Forest fires, logging, tearing them down for homes is impacting our my world around me. We are taking out these gentle giants for consumer wants not needs, and we are taking them out faster then we are planting them. Planting conifer trees is beneficial, but it will take hundreds of years for it to be as effective as the grandparents trees.

Citations:

Mitchell, Stephen R., et al. “Forest Fuel Reduction Alters Fire Severity and Long-Term Carbon Storage in Three Pacific Northwest Ecosystems.” Ecological Applications, vol. 19, no. 3, 2009, pp. 643–655. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/27646006

Raymond, Crystal L., and Donald McKenzie. “Carbon Dynamics of Forests in Washington, USA: 21st Century Projections Based on Climate-Driven Changes in Fire Regimes.” Ecological Applications, vol. 22, no. 5, 2012, pp. 1589–1611. JSTOR, http://www.jstor.org/stable/41722876.

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