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Joshua trees facing extinction

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Above: "Young Joshua trees like this one may be unable to survive under climate change."

"They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won’t survive much past this century.

"UC Riverside scientists wanted to verify earlier studies predicting global warming’s deadly effect on the namesake trees that millions flock to see every year in Joshua Tree National Park. They also wanted to learn whether the trees are already in trouble.

"Using multiple methods, the study arrived at several possible outcomes. In the best-case scenario, major efforts to reduce heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere would save 19 percent of the tree habitat after the year 2070. In the worst case, with no reduction in carbon emissions, the park would retain a mere 0.02 percent of its Joshua tree habitat.

"The team’s findings were published recently in Ecosphere. Project lead Lynn Sweet, a UCR plant ecologist, said she hopes the study inspires people to take protective environmental action. 'The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands,' she said. 'Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us.'"

Courtesy of UC Riverside. Click on the image copyright to continue reading.

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Bill_I_Am

My pleasure, Barb. Thanks for visiting!

Bjresh

You are making me homesick, folks, first SC and now So Cal desert where I lived 55 yrs. yuccas were all over the place and gradually faded out. This is a gorgeous memory though, thanks @Bill_I_Am. :))

Bill_I_Am

You're most welcome, stunned.

Thanks for the post.

Bill_I_Am

Yes, they are incredibly productive in that way.

Elsiesw

Fauna of various kinds make their homes in these trees. They are beautiful living in a stark landscape.

Bill_I_Am

You're most welcome, Gayle. They really are fascinating trees. I was reading in the Wikipedia article that they are difficult to date as they don't form rings like other trees because their trunks are so fibrous.

Bommom

If I were to stumble upon this growth, I'd never imagine it to be a young tree. Even young trees have branches. In looking at other Joshua trees, some can be several years old before branching. The more I see, the more I learn and the more interesting they are. Thanks, Bill!

Bill_I_Am

Yes, I saw that too. Very unusual flowers, er, panicles.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_brevifolia#/media/File:Joshua_Tree_Panicle_1.jpg

RebeccaB

This Wiki article has a picture of its bloom - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yucca_brevifolia

Bill_I_Am

Yes, I read that too. You can sure see the resemblance in the young'uns, like the specimen in the foreground. I didn't find any discussion of its ever having been a grass.

RebeccaB

Wikipedia tells me they're related to the Yucca plant - didn't know that, although now I can see the close resemblance. Nice picture. Hmm... now I'm wondering whether yucca is a grass - are Joshua trees the grass that became a tree?

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