Saturday, June 13, 2015

Excess Trees in Japan are Harming the Environment

Jun 11, 2015 01:50 PM ET // by Danny Clemens, DSCOVRD

Can trees cause pollution?  Short answer: yes -- mismanaged forests can cause nutrient pollution. Cypress and cedar trees in Japan are causing massive amounts of nitrogen runoff into local streams, resulting in harmful algae blooms.  But, it's not exactly their fault. The trees are planted in massive, commercial plantations, many of which have mostly fallen into a state of disrepair since their establishment half a century ago, during a period of high demand for wood within Japan. For a variety of reasons, Japanese companies began to increasingly import wood in subsequent decades. The shift in the market left in its wake an overabundance of humungous wood plantations, which are now causing major problems for adjacent wildlife in their sad state of ruination.  The older, slowly growing trees use notably less nutrients (namely nitrogen) than younger trees, which grow faster and require more nutrients. Very few new trees are growing in the plantations because the land has become so densely populated with older trees, which prevent sunlight from nourishing the shorter, nascent trees......To Read More....


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