Study documents tree species’ decline due to climate warming

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

yellow cedar trees

ANCHORAGE, Alaska  — A study documenting mortality of yellow cedar trees in Alaska and British Columbia concludes the future is gloomy for the species valued for its commercial and cultural uses.

The study recorded death due to root freeze on 7 percent of the tree’s range. Researchers say additional mortality is likely over the next 50 years as the climate warms.

Climate models project a transition from snow to more rain where yellow cedar now thrives.

The study says that without an insulating blanket of snow, spring freezing events will penetrate deeper into the soil, killing yellow cedar’s shallow roots.

Lead author Brian Buma of the University of Alaska Southeast says winter temperatures in about 50 percent of the areas now suitable for yellow cedar are expected to switch from snow to more rain.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.