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Effect of Changes in Precipitation on Flora

From: MSNBC and Destination360.

In central and southern Sierra, the giant sequoias, which are among the biggest living things on Earth, might be in threat. As precipitation continues to become more and more irregular, longer drought periods are expected in various regions of the state. Along with the sequoias, there are other kinds of vegetation which are at a risk of drying out. The death rate of fir and pine trees has accelerated over the past two decades. As the snowline recedes, throughout the 400 mile Sierra Nevada, trees are under stress, leading scientists to speculate that the mix of flora could change significantly as the climate warms and precipitation varies.

Scientists already are considering relocating Joshua tree seedlings to areas outside of California where the plants, a hallmark of the high desert, might survive climate change.

Small mammals, reptiles, and colonies of wildflowers in the deserts east of Los Angeles are accustomed to periodic three-year dry spells. But they might not be able to withstand the 10-year drought cycles that may become commonplace.

Post last edited on: 2011 April 13

Tags: flora, precipitation, vegetation

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