Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Nature Disturbancy

While I'm on the subject of sad stories in forest management ...Jeff and I will be heading down to Georgia for the Fools Gold in the next couple days which reminds me of the dreaded kudzu (Pueraria montana ) that continues to advance north thanks to global warming. At a growth rate of 1 foot/day, kudzu may have more luck taking over the Union than the rebels. (photo: advancing kudzu)

Speaking of hostile takeovers ...the red maple (acer rubrum) continues to dominate the eastern deciduous forest largely due to decades of fire supression. Much like Wal-Mart, red maple is very adaptable, allowing it to out-compete other species for scarce resources ....particularly oak and hickory.

On the bright side, it looks like the American Chestnut (Castanea dentata) might be making a comeback after almost being completely wiped out by a blight in the early 1900s. For over 20 years, the American Chestnut Foundation has been working on a blight resistant species by cross breeding the American Chestnut with it's Chinese counterpart, unfortunately this resulted in a significantly smaller tree. It was not until recently that researchers were able to retain the superior size of the American Chestnut by backcross breeding the American/Chinese hybrid. Reintroduction is now a reality! Yay!!!


Anonymous said...

Specifically back-crossing as opposed to cross breeding (not breading - that's something you do with chicken prior to frying :).

Anna said...

Indeed. Many thanks.

Anonymous said...

your best post yet!!!! when you going for a hundy??? buck up there anna its fun stuff and it may just help your shorter races out. down w the terroristic kudzu! more tree informationals!

Anna said...

hmmmm ....I think I'm gonna start with a half a hundy. That's actually how long races were down in South Africa ...but somehow I can deal with distance in kilometers better than miles.

Glad you liked the tree update ...I've been kicking around ideas for a piece on the gypsy moth ....damn them!

Chickin said...

Did somebody mention chicken?

Anna said...

Yes, both breeding them and breading them.

Goat and I were also talking about the ghetto chicken during PT.

Oh, and soon I'll be driving through Gainesville, GA ...which was once the poultry capitol of the world!!! I'll tell them you said hello.

Lorena said...

anna, i think this goes down as your most random post EVER.
i called today to see what your weekend plans were. was hoping to convince you to come to the Millersburg race w/me. but looks like you are being swept away to a bigger and better road trip with a cooler person. we need to do one together again sometime soon though!

mikejoos said...

yes!!! The American chestnut rules!!!!!!!!!, when you go on that road trip with Lorena be sure to invite your friend mike. he likes your road trip conversations even more than he likes taking in the 3er person.

have fun in Georgia!!! as I remember there are a lot of weirdos at truck stops around those parts, so be careful.