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TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI)- The trees at the fairgrounds have officially come down.

The trees are believed to have stood for more than 200 years. When the fairgrounds took over the land of image of Mike Saunderswood, it caused damage to the tree’s growth. Now these trees are being re purposed to teach us some history of the land. Mike Saunders is a hardwood expert and Natural Resource Professor at Purdue. He says it’s sad that the trees had to come down but he’s making this a positive situation by using it to look at what may have happened years ago on the land. “I think there’s a story to tell both scientifically and to the public on what these trees are here and how they came into being and give them their life story of the trees,” said Saunders. Saunders uses a scanner that can determine the lands history by looking at the length and width of each ring. “We can look at what past climate was. We can also determine whether or not the trees grew in a closed canopy forest or if it grew out in the open based on the patterns we see in the growth in the rings,” said Saunders. Some community members have expressed sadness seeing these trees go. But Saunders said the neck of woods just down the road by Central Catholic are similar trees still standing. He says those are worth preserving. The tree reading process can take months. But Saunders plans to share all his findings in one way or another. “It would be nice to put up a sign out here at some point to talk about what happened with these trees and how old the stand was,” said Sanders. Click here for the link

Climate drives link between forest biodiversity and productivity

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Some ecologists believe that species richness is positively related to ecosystem productivity, while others conclude that the relationship is bell-shaped or they are unrelated. Using big data, Purdue University scientists now know which theory is correct – all of them.

Image of Dr. Fei

Biodiversity-productivity relationships would be useful to natural resource managers who want to promote timber production or forest conservation. Some studies show a positive relationship between the number of species present and the productivity in an ecosystem. Others, however, show no correlation or a bell shape, in which productivity increases with biodiversity until a point at which more species lead to a decline. Those studies, however, have often looked at a relatively small number of plots in limited spatial extent.

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