Research

Thick bark enables giant sequoia to withstand lower-severity ground fires

Grants Fund Research on Wildfire, Wildlife and a Rare Plant in Coast Redwood and Giant Sequoia

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Nearly $150,000 in research grants from Save the Redwoods League have been awarded as part of the 2018 grant cycle. Funding these projects is a significant component of fulfilling the League’s mission, and each of these projects will contribute to scientific knowledge of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. This research can help us answer big questions that will protect the health of people, wildlife, and the forests.

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Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Photo by Peter Buranzon

Future Coastal Climate Not Cool for Redwood Forests

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In a study published in the research journal Global Change Biology, climate scientists from the University of California and NatureServe conclude that a warmer future with normal rainfall on California’s coast will leave coast redwoods south of San Francisco Bay with significantly different climate than they have experienced for decades.

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Stephen Sillett and Marie Antoine climbing Muir Woods redwoods.

BioBlitz 2014: Muir Woods National Monument

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In March 2014, a research team sponsored by Save the Redwoods League and the Evelyn Tilden Mohrhardt Fund at The San Francisco Foundation became the first scientists to climb the ancient trees at Muir Woods National Monument and survey life in the canopy. Learn more about this historic climb and its results.

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Thanks to our members' support, a League-sponsored researcher will examine how the Ensatina salamander's role as a top predator in the redwood forest affects its ability to influence the storage of carbon in the soil. Photo by Anthony Ambrose

Latest Research Grants Support Discoveries in Wildlife, Plants, Restoration

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More than $200,000 in research grants from Save the Redwoods League in 2013 and 2014 will fund projects that will contribute to scientific knowledge of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. This research can help us answer big questions that will protect the health of people, wildlife and redwood forests.

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Juvenile Chinook salmon from a Redwood Creek trap. Photo by M. Sparkman

Can We Save Salmon?

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You helped fund research that shows salmon numbers are falling, but restoration offers hope. Harm to redwood forests-like logging and damming-has threatened their salmon inhabitants. But thanks to your support, scientists are monitoring the fish in Redwood Creek. They say forest restoration will help ensure that the salmon can recover and thrive once more.

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High-severity treatments have boosted the growth of isolated giant sequoias in what is now Giant Sequoia National Monument. Photo by Rob York

Disturbances Benefit Giant Sequoias

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Being dwarfed by Earth’s most massive tree, the giant sequoia, fills you with wonder. It’s hard to believe that a living thing can be so enormous and old. It may be alarming to see these forests on fire, but research funded by your gifts shows that disturbances such as these are actually good for giant sequoias. See why.

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Our Redwood Watch map shows the coast redwood range in orange and giant sequoia range in red. You can help scientists research the effects of climate change on redwood forests by taking photos that will be placed on this map. Map by iNaturalist

Help Research: Photograph South, East Parts of Redwood Range

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Today, redwoods stand at a critical point. The current and projected interactions of these stressors jeopardize more than 90 years of League conservation work. We must act today to protect redwoods from these threats in the future. Learn more about you can help.

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Credit: å© Michael Nichols/National Geographic

National Geographic Features League Research

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National Geographic magazine’s December cover story includes the remarkable findings of League scientists who are studying how redwoods can survive sweeping environmental changes. The feature includes incredible photos, such as a portrait of a 3,200-year-old giant sequoia.

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Researchers measure redwoods in experiments that are part of our effort to protect forests during rapid climate change. Photo by Anthony Ambrose

Redwoods and Climate Change Update

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Today, redwoods stand at a new crossroads of environmental change where rapid climatic changes and other factors threaten them in ways they have not experienced before in their long history on Earth. Our Redwoods and Climate Change Initiative research project will help us understand redwoods’ vulnerabilities to climatic changes so we can protect these forests in the future. Now Initiative scientists are studying 450 redwood saplings.

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Emily Limm found that western sword fern absorbed the most moisture from fog. Photo by Emily Burns

Symposium Showcases Redwoods Research

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Your support helps Save the Redwoods League study redwood forests and their surrounding land and waterways to understand how to best protect these resources. Research also helps us learn what the forest’s survival means to the health of people and our planet. Now you can read details of the League-sponsored science symposium, The Coast Redwood Forests in a Changing California. Highlights include the keynote speech on conservation by Ruskin K. Hartley, former Executive Director of Save the Redwoods League, and a paper on how plants absorb fog by Emily Burns, former Director of Science.

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Humboldt Marten.

Your Support Nets Discoveries about Forest

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Did you know that redwoods are not only highly resistant to fire but are nearly indestructible? Just one year after devastating fires, redwoods that had been scorched were already covered with the green fuzz of new foliage. Are you aware that installing rest boxes (like birdhouses) on trees can help save members of the weasel family known as martens? These agile creatures are redwood forest dwellers that have nearly vanished.

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A League-funded project by Robert York and William Stewart of the University of California will contribute to the basic understanding of how giant sequoia forests like this one respond to disturbances such as fire. Photo by iriskh, Flickr Creative Commons

Save the Redwoods League Awards Nearly $100,000 for Research

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SAN FRANCISCO (February 14, 2012) — Save the Redwoods League today announced more than $100,000 in research grants to fund projects that will expand scientific knowledge of the biology and ecology of coast redwood and giant sequoia forests. This research can help us answer big questions that will protect the health of people, wildlife, redwood forests and the entire planet. The grants were awarded to researchers at San Francisco State University, University of Wisconsin, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Department of Agriculture and The Regents of the University of California. The League is the only nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting ancient redwood forests throughout their natural range.

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Experts Share Latest on Redwoods, Climate Change

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The weight of salamanders in the redwood ecosystem is greater than that of all other vertebrates collectively because there are so many of the amphibians! Predicted drier forest conditions may threaten amphibian species, said David Wake, Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Wake and other scientists discussed the impact of climate change on redwood ecosystems at a recent Save the Redwoods League-sponsored symposium.

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