Sea level rise is killing forests in protected areas on the east coast of the United States, according to one recent reports. Research by Duke University candidate Emily Ury in collaboration with eight other universities revealed that many large forests were destroyed due to the effects of sea level rise along the Atlantic coast. and other regions of the world. The damage spread to the point where it was visible from space.
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The study involves physically observing forested areas close to the coastline in North Carolina as well as analyzing satellite images and wetland samples. Ury has found it forever flood common in lowlands of the Outside Banks of North Carolina.
When analyzing the satellite images, Ury said that her team had found huge chunks of land full of water has been lost into the sea for the past 35 years.
“The results were amazing,” said Ury. “We have found that more than 10% of the forested wetlands in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has been lost in the past 35 years. This is a federally protected land, with no other human activity that can be killed Forest. “
Inundation of these forest areas means that salt water leads to death of native trees. When native trees die, shrubs and other salt-tolerant plants tree cultivate in the same place. Unfortunately, the plants taken over did not have the same ecological value in this site as the dead plants.
A separate learn Co-author of Ury and her colleagues revealed that tree death caused by sea level rise is becoming more severe in recent years. Research shows that despite protection measures for a large portion of the North Carolina coastline, the soil cover has changed 32% over a period of 35 years. The change is largely due climate change and sea level rise.
The paper identifies the serious impacts of sea level rise and deforestation. Many species of trees have disappeared, taking away important wildlife habitat. Among the affected species there are have ability to be extinct Red wolf and red woodpecker. Ury is also concerned that deforestation contributes to climate change, as these lost trees are sequestering carbon.
Pictures via Emily Ury