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Can You Play Forest ‘Match’-Maker?

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In honor of Valentine’s Day, we’re thinking about the iconic redwood forest duos—those essential relationships between the trees, the environment, and the creatures who make the redwood forests their home. Can you guess any of these amazing duos?

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Fog is Back

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The fog is back. After thinking mostly of drought for the last few years, suddenly my focus is back to fog. It’s the ephemeral and unpredictable force of nature that I spent nearly a decade studying among the redwoods. The Continued

Foggy Focus

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The new issue of Bay Nature has an article on the fantastic and ephemeral feature of our local climate — fog. The article, Demystifying Mist, describes the science of studying fog and conjures up images of misty forest days that Continued

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

Fog and Redwood Forest Plants

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Coast redwood forests depend on fog to survive the nearly rainless summers of California’s Mediterranean climate. It was once thought that redwoods captured this moisture through their roots. But a 2004 Save the Redwoods League-funded study proved that redwoods suck up water through their leaves as well. As a doctoral student at the University of California, Berkeley, Emily Burns set out to discover whether other plants in the redwood ecosystem were equally adept at “foliar uptake.” Learn more about this research.

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Core sampling. Photo by Peter Buranzon

Chemicals in Redwood Rings Indicate Past Water Uptake

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It’s no coincidence that redwoods live in the thickest part of “California’s fog belt.” The presence of coastal summer fog has long been regarded a necessary ingredient for the health and perpetuation of coast redwood ecosystems. During drier summer months fog supplies trees with moisture and blocks the evaporating rays of direct sunlight, reducing the amount of water that redwoods lose via transpiration. What’s less understood, however, is exactly how fog frequency has varied in the past century and how redwoods have responded to this variation. Learn more about this research.

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