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Drought-stressed California forests face a radical shift

LA Times: Biologist Greg Asner first heard the numbers in April, but they did little to prepare him for what he saw. The Forest Service had estimated that nearly 12.5 million trees in the state's southern and central forests were dead. But as Asner peered down upon the same forests from his airplane at 6,000 feet, he saw something far worse. California's drought-parched landscape was poised for a radical transformation. Much of the low-elevation forests near Mt. Pinos in the Los Padres National Forest...

As giant sequoias get a drought checkup, there’s good news and bad

LA Times: Sixty feet from the top of a giant sequoia named Kong, biologist Anthony Ambrose studied the foliage around him. Dense clusters of green leaves grew like shaving brushes from the branches, cones clustered like Indian clubs. Topping out 25 stories above the ground, Kong was spectacular, an ancient beastly creature well-suited for its name. Its trunk at the base measured 17 feet across. This broccoli top, Ambrose thought, was doing well, much like the other sequoias he had climbed. Water and...