Friday, March 28, 2008

BC Forests Feeling Blue

A recent outbreak of mountain pine beetles has destroyed an area of 33.4 million acres of British Columbian pine tree forests. This has huge economic implications, as these forests are a major source of softwood lumber exports to the United States.

According to a news release posted on BC's website, these infesting insects have killed about 710 million cubic meters as of this month, which is up from 582 million cubic meters at the same time last year. The province estimates that about 76% of it will have been killed by 2015.

These tiny black critters lay their eggs in lodgepole and ponderosa pines. The hungry larvae the kill the trees by destroying their ability to absorb nutrients and water. They also carry a fungus that stains the wood blue, leaving a marker for everybody to see...

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