Forest biologist Patricia Maloney is raising 10,000 sugar pine seedlings descended from trees that survived California’s historic drought. Lauren Sommer / KQED When California’s historic five-year drought finally relented a few years ago, the tally of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada was higher than almost anyone expected: 129 million. Most are still standing, the dry patches dotting the mountainsides. But some trees did survive the test of heat and drought. Now, scientists are racing to collect them and other species around the globe in the hope that these "climate survivors" may have a natural advantage, allowing them to cope with a warming world a bit better than others in their species. On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Patricia Maloney, a UC Davis forest and conservation biologist, hunts for these survivors. Most people focus on the dead trees, their brown pine needles standing out against the glittering blue of the lake. But Maloney tends not to notice them. "I look for the good," she said. "Like in people, you look for the good, not the bad. I do the same in forest systems." Maloney studies sugar pines, a tree John Muir once called the "king" of conifers. "They […]

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.