2009 Science News of the Year: Environment | Science News

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2009 Science News of the Year: Environment

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12:34pm, December 18, 2009

Routine tree deaths doubled
Small background rates of everyday tree death have doubled in old-growth, western forests since 1955, possibly because of climate change, researchers report (SN: 2/14/09, p. 8). In 76 plots with no wildfires or massive pest outbreaks in the western United States and Canada, annual tree mortality crept up to 1 or 2 percent by 2007, says Phillip J. van Mantgem of the U.S. Geological Survey’s Western Ecological Research Center field station in Arcata, Calif. Deaths accelerated in trees of various ages, al

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