2,624 year old evergreen trees found in Black River & # 39; s Three Swamp. (LiveScience)
Trubus.id – In a new study published in the journal Environmental Research Communications, scientists studying tree rings in the Black River swamp region of North Carolina, found bald cypress trees (Taxodium distichum) who are at least 2,624 years old. This finding makes it one of the oldest non-clonal trees (clone trees, which are large colonies of genetically identical plants that grow from one ancestor, can live for tens of thousands of years) that reproduce sexually in the world.
How old is 2,624 years old? If you borrow an analogy from the Charlotte Observer, that age illustrates that this tree is older than the appearance of Christianity, the Roman Empire, and English.
The researchers found this old pine tree while studying tree rings in an attempt to collect the climate history of the eastern United States. (In addition to marking the age of the tree, the width and color of the tree indicates how wet or dry a given year is).
Due to earlier fieldwork, the team knew that the bare pine tree in the Three Sisters Swamp of the Black River was one of the oldest tree groups in the country. Previous research has identified several trees from 1,000 to 1,650 years old.
The new study revealed that bald cypress has a much longer lifespan than previously thought. Aside from the 2,624-year-old individuals mentioned above, the researchers also found 2,088-year-old evergreen trees in the same swamp – and there is a greater possibility of origin.
"Because we have investigated and registered only 110 large evergreen tree trunks living at this location, there is still a small proportion of tens of thousands of trees in this wetland, there may be some individuals with more than 2000 year old bare pines around 100 km (62 miles) ) reached Black River, "the researchers wrote in the study reported by LiveScience.
According to new research, this bare pine tree is now confirmed as the oldest known wetland tree species on earth. This discovery also makes bare bare as the oldest non-clonal species of tree on earth; only the Sierra juniper berries (Juniperus occidentalis) individual, mammoth tree (Sequoiadendron giganteum), Alerces (Fitzroya cupressoides) and pork basins Great Basin (Pinus Longaeva) who appears to be a parent.
The oldest pine forests in the world, located in the California White Mountains, is 5,066 years old – about twice as high as the newly discovered evergreen tree. The oldest clone tree is considered to be in the vibrating aspen forest known as Pando, in Utah.
Although the old trees described in this study live on protected land that is privately owned by North Carolina of The Nature Conservancy, their existence is still threatened by continuing logging and biomass farming activities (for example, cutting trees for mulch) elsewhere in rivers, but also through industrial pollution and climate change.
According to the study authors, this swamp is located at an altitude of 2 meters above the average sea level and is in danger of being flooded by the sea level rise caused by anthropogenic global warming.
"The discovery of the oldest living tree known in eastern North America, which is actually one of the oldest trees living on earth, offers strong incentives for private, state and federal protection of this extraordinary waterway," concluded the authors. [RN]