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Can We Grow Now? Helping Bristlecone Pine Trees To Take Root and Grow
This article is from Issue Wildland Fire 2 - Vol. 13 No. 1.
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Listed below are some parts of the journal that may help you teach this article. Each link is a pdf file.
Fire Research in the Forest Service
Note to Educators
Journal Lesson Plan 1
Journal Lesson Plan 2
Who or What Am I?
Reflection Section Answer Guide
Additional Resources for this Article:
Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:
"Science Topics" covered in this article:
- Life Science
- People and Science
"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
When scientists complete their research, they
communicate their results to other scientists. One
way they do this is by writing a scientific paper.
Within a scientific paper, scientists almost always
use many ways to communicate. These ways
include words, photographs, maps, drawings,
tables, charts, and graphs. As you read Natural
Inquirer articles or other scientific material,
look carefully at the many ways scientists
communicate their findings.
In this article, you will see photographs,
charts, and maps that help you understand the
research. In your own life, how do photographs,
charts, and maps help you understand in a way
that words do not? Have you recently
looked at an hour-by-hour forecast
of the temperature? How does that
graph help you understand the
coming weather in ways that words
Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
- Characteristics of Scientists
- The Scientific Process
Bristlecone pine trees are special. They are special because they can
live for long periods of time, some up to 4,500 years. This makes them
the oldest living species on Earth. In the Ancient Bristlecone Forest in
California, the oldest of these trees is named Methuselah (mə-ˈthü-zə-lə).
This tree was named for the oldest person named in the Bible. Methuselah
is a Great Basin bristlecone pine. The scientists in this study examined
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine trees. Bristlecone pines can live in harsh
environments, such as cold, windswept, rocky slopes (figure 1). They can also live in more
favorable habitats, where they form closed-canopy forests (figure 2).
Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine trees are found in Colorado. Bristlecone pine trees
provide a lot of benefits to the areas in which they grow. They provide seeds for birds and
other wildlife. They hold carbon in their wood, which helps to reduce climate change. They
contribute to the water cycle by pulling in water through their roots and transpiring it
through their needles. They provide a special benefit to people who visit the old trees, or
maybe just look at photographs of them. Can you name this benefit? The benefits provided
by nature are called ecosystem services.
Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:NSE Standards covered in this article:
- Ecosystem Services
- Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
- Diversity and adaptations of organisms (C)
- Natural hazards (F)
- Nature of science (G)
- Populations and ecosystems (C)
- Populations, resources and environments (F)
- Reproduction and heredity (C)
- Risks and benefits (F)
- Science as a human endeavor (G)
- Structure and function in living systems (C)
- Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)