Longevity, climate sensitivity, and conservation status of wetland trees at Black River, North Carolina

D W Stahle, J R Edmondson, I M Howard, C R Robbins, R D Griffin, A Carl, C B Hall, D K Stahle, M C A Torbenson
2019 Environmental Research Communications  
Bald cypress trees over 2,000-years old have been discovered in the forested wetlands along Black River using dendrochronology and radiocarbon dating. The oldest bald cypress yet documented is at least 2,624-years old, making Taxodium distichum the oldest-known wetland tree species, the oldest living trees in eastern North America, and the fifth oldest known non-clonal tree species on earth. The annual ring-width chronology developed from the ancient Black River bald cypress trees is positively
more » ... trees is positively correlated with growing season precipitation totals over the southeastern United States and with atmospheric circulation over the Northern Hemisphere, providing the longest exactly-dated climate proxy yet developed in eastern North America. The Nature Conservancy owns 6,400 ha in their Black River Preserve and the North Carolina legislature is considering establishment of a Black River State Park, but ancient forested wetlands are found along most of this 106 km stream and remain threatened by logging, water pollution, and sea level rise.
doi:10.1088/2515-7620/ab0c4a fatcat:5k2vkvzihngp7ofxle7fxrmqli