September 25, 2004

Newsflash: Trees Use Water

In an article that deserves the world's biggest "D'oh", the Guardian notes that trees prevent flooding:

Scientists have discovered that simple strips of newly planted woodland could play a crucial role in halting the floods that have devastated British towns in recent years.

They found that land with trees can hold vast amounts of water that would otherwise stream down hills and surge along rivers into towns.

'The extent of water absorption was entirely unexpected,' said Dr Zoe Carroll of the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology in Bangor. 'It also has great potential for helping us deal with floods.' ...

You mean to tell me that trees absorb water!!? Who could have f***ing imagined it?

In fairness though, it isn't just that they absorb it. The root structure maintains spacing in the soil that allows the soil to hold more water, as well as supporting large mats of fungal symbionts who absorb a lot of water themselves. So in practical terms, if you live downhill from a clearcut and start getting flooded out more frequently, connect the two events, dammit.

Posted by natasha at September 25, 2004 07:27 PM | Environment | Technorati links |

What's next?! Are we going to find out the god damned things breath carbon dioxide and create oxygen. and coudl actually help clean some of the air pollution that is out there?!

Posted by: John F at September 25, 2004 07:32 PM