Day 4

Today was a full day of plant surveying! I learned a lot about the cypress tree and the current problems this species is facing in the southern deciduous forest here in Louisiana. 

As shown in the picture below, the roots of this tree (and many others) are completely exposed. This is not normal. Typically the roots are completely covered by soil and water. However due to humans the soil level has dropped. That’s right, the soil has become so compact due to the loss of water and organic material that it caused soil levels to drop. 

What’s causing the water to disappear? Humans. When humans moved to Louisiana they started to drain the wetlands in their desire to inhabit the land. As population size increased, the demand for more land also increased. Therefore causing humans to drain more and more water from the land. Over the years the extraction of water from these wetlands has caused a dramatic decrease in soil levels. This decrease has caused the roots of the trees to become more exposed to oxygen. Furthermore allowing bacteria, fungi, and microbes to attack it and begin decomposition. As the roots become decomposed, the tree slowly becomes to weak to hold itself up. The end result is the collapsing of cypress trees and a decrease in the population. 

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