Five years ago, in 2017, a group of researchers outside of Chicago conducted brief research into a comprehensive assessment of the various threats faced by native species in the North American Continent. The researchers were from the Morton Arboretum, as the vitality of trees was underrated for human settlements. They found that extinction threatens up to 16% of native US Tree species.
Extensive cutting down of trees has made Humans realize their importance to the environment and their ability for massive carbon sequestration potential. Despite the various benefits of Trees, humans have extensively cut them down for personal gain, comfort, and the need for open land. This has led to the current situation, where new threats are lurking worldwide.
What do Botanists have to say about species at risk of extinction?
While it is evident that many species face extinction threats, knowing which species are at risk is essential. Therefore, instead of vaguely talking about species extinction, scientists must conduct extensive research to create an inventory of such species and work on targeted projects for its recovery.
Understanding which species are on the brink of extinction will also allow researchers to precisely understand the reason for their extinction and develop comprehensive guidelines for their survival. Hence, resources must be allocated to highlight such species and conduct focused research.
How is the Geographic Scenario contributing to Tree Species Extinction in the US?
On conducting research, it was found that the current geographic conditions have also driven native Tree species to their extinction. Invasive species thrive in warmer environments. With the change in climate across the US, the northern parts of the country are getting warmer, making it easier for invasive species to debut in this region. However, this is a factor of the native tree species in the north, leading to their extinction. The changing geographic climate in the US is also a contributing factor to this, and action needs to be taken for this.
What are the factors where Extinction Threatens up to 16% of native US Tree Species?
There are multiple factors for Tree species extinction, and the statement by researchers claims that “Extinction Threatens up to 16% of native US Tree Species.” This is an accurate analysis, as natives in the region can distinctly observe the change. One of the significant threats faced by native Tree species is the attack by the emerald ash borer, which is a native Asian insect. These insects of Asian descent will wipe out almost half of the native ash species.
Apart from this, the southeastern laurel trees in the US are at risk from pathogens transmitted by invasive beetle species. While this is a factor, other human-induced factors have contributed to the extinction of native tree species. These include droughts, heat waves, storms, wildfires, and more. Therefore, extreme weather conditions due to climate change weaken the trees and make them vulnerable to pathogens and pests or can kill them directly.
Which Tree species have scientists found to be at risk?
According to the Journal of Plants, over 881 distinctive species have been identified. Of these 881 distinct species, around 11-16% are at risk of extinction. Some of the names of native tree species include pinyon pine, the Franklin tree or Franklinia, and more. This is not a gentle reminder but a threat for the next generations as it will directly impact the environment. Identifying species which are at risk is the first step. The next step involves finding ways to curb the situation and advocate for these native Tree species for their protection.
How does the extinction of native tree species affect the Environment?
The extinction of native tree species has a direct impact on the Environment. Trees are an essential component of the Human race and have an important role in the environment. Apart from providing shade and protecting you from the sun, trees are involved in curbing carbon dioxide and creating an oxygenated environment. Therefore, Trees are necessary to boost a healthy environment and are essential for Human survival and all other biotic components. Therefore, close attention needs to be given to the survival of native Tree species.
Is there any hope of saving these species from extinction?
Since the threat of the extinction of native Tree species is linked to climate change, there is hope, provided the current situation is curbed. One should realize this sooner and work towards reversing climate change which will trigger a positive feedback loop. Conducting analysis and gathering data will give a brief overview of this aspect and allow scientists to understand how to save these native Tree species. Therefore, the survival of these native Tree species depends on how fast carbon emissions are cut. Extinction Threatens up to 16% of native US Tree Species is a warning that should be taken seriously.
What are scientists doing to protect these tree species in the US?
Scientists are trying to devise a plan for tree conservation in the US, primarily to protect the native Tree species at risk. Besides scientists, policymakers in the country are also trying to draft policies for protecting the environment. There are many reforestation projects which the government is carrying out. However, scientists believe that studying to find native tree species at risk of extinction will amplify conservation efforts and put the world on the right track. Even though extinction threatens up to 16% of native US Tree Species, there is still much more that can be done for survival.
The extinction of native Tree species will significantly impact the ecosystem around it. The reliance of some species on trees will also cause them to suffer from their extinction and struggle to survive. While this news is alarming, what’s even more threatening is to know that the window to save these tree species is shortening. While awareness needs to be established for the conservation of these native tree species. It is time for humans to take action and work towards the betterment of the world and put the earth back on the path of recovery, and save the biodiversity it hosts.
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