WASHINGTON, June 24, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Scientists at Bonn University believe they have found an important piece of a puzzle that explains why the earth's forests are in decline: salt compounds in air pollution.
Since the industrial age began, one-third of the world's forests have disappeared, a blight that alarms scientists, since older, larger trees store an enormous amount of carbon and continue to sequester it as they grow.
Mature trees also provide habitat for many types of animals and plants, they filter water, control water runoff and protect soil among other natural contributions important to life on earth.
The German scientists have now shown that salt deposits left by air pollutants act as wicks on the wax that protects leaves and needles from water loss. Trees then become more vulnerable to decline in drought conditions. The results of the study are published in the magazine "Environmental Pollution."
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, the world loses about 32 million acres of timberland annually, far more than is offset through planting and natural processes. In addition to actual forest loss, the world's tree cover is becoming less healthy. NASA scientists analyzing satellite images from 2000 to 2010 have concluded that forests in the eastern U.S. have become less green and now provide significantly less canopy cover.
EIN News, a leading media monitoring company, provides in-depth 24-hour coverage of pollution, climate change and their effects via a number of sites and news feeds, including:
--Climate Change Effects News--http://environment.einnews.com/news/climate-change-effect
--Forest Industry & Environment News--http://environment.einnews.com/news/forest-industry-environment
--UN & Climate Change News--http://cop.einnews.com/
About EIN News (http://www.einnews.com/)
EIN News has developed one of the world's leading real time news indexing services. Its systems continuously scan the web, indexing news from thousands of worldwide sources. The data is then filtered according to specific needs, and the processes are supervised by a team of professional news editors.
The company's services include EIN Presswire (http://www.einpresswire.com), EIN World Conference Directory (http://events.einnews.com) and the Newsfeed Maker (www.newsfeedmaker.com), a syndication service that searches thousands of online sources and delivers results directly to the websites of its members.
SOURCE EIN News