Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

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#1)  Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

Postby Matt Markworth » Sat Feb 25, 2017 9:49 am

NTS,

I got permission from the writer of this book review to link to it from my forestreporter.com website. Just go to this page (https://forestreporter.com/) and I'll keep the book review link anchored at the top of the Newsfeed for a few weeks.

I have also read the book and highly recommend it; it's a very important work. In it you'll also see the delightful, perfectly-matched artwork of NTS member Andrew Joslin.

Matt

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#2)  Re: Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

Postby Bart Bouricius » Sun Feb 26, 2017 7:45 am

Matt,

I agree, I was particularly impressed with the skill and grace shown in Joan's writing, being able to carefully dance between accessibility and remaining true to scientific accuracy.  Letting a broad spectrum of the public in on important issues of carbon sequestration and volume increases in old growth forests and trees is a great service.  And wonderful drawings by Andrew, who I know had to sacrifice time and more to contribute his skill and heart to this work.

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#3)  Re: Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

Postby Joe » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:00 pm

Matt, not that I disagree with your comment about "important issues of carbon sequestration and volume increases in old growth forests" but I suspect, though the volume of the trees in old forests may continue to increase- there is often a lot of decay going on-  many trees may have small or very large hollows- so the decay and hollows needs to be deducted from the increasing volume to clarify just how much the older forests are continuing with carbon sequestration.

I do agree that the "forestry community" does greatly underestimate the continued C sequestration of old forests. It's similar to the way they used to call old growth forests "overmature" and many still claim old forests are lacking in wildlife.

Being a forester since '73, I'm one of forestry's biggest critics. But, enviros often get forestry wrong too.
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#4)  Re: Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

Postby Matt Markworth » Sun Feb 26, 2017 5:08 pm

Joe,

I agree with your thoughts around old-growth trees and volume. Here are couple quotes from some of the studies I've seen:

“Thus, large, old trees do not act simply as senescent carbon reservoirs but actively fix large amounts of carbon compared to smaller trees; at the extreme, a single big tree can add the same amount of carbon to the forest within a year as is contained in an entire mid-sized tree.” Stephenson, N.L.et.al. “Rate of tree carbon accumulation increases continuously with tree size.” Nature (2014)

“Our results demonstrate that old-growth forests can continue to accumulate carbon, contrary to the long-standing view that they are carbon neutral. Over 30 per cent of the global forest area is unmanaged primary forest, and this area contains the remaining old-growth forests…Old-growth forests accumulate carbon for centuries and contain large quantities of it. We expect, however, that much of this carbon, even soil carbon, will move back to the atmosphere if these forests are disturbed.” Luyssaert, Sebastiaan et al. “Old-growth forests as global carbon sinks.” Nature (2008)

I think that more and more we're going to see science battling science, and science in some cases being used as justification for actions with many unintended consequences - essentially justifying more doing and less leaving things alone. This is the primary reason why I think it's so important to leave some places untouched (as much as possible) by humans, so that nature can unfold in a natural, uncontrived way without constant tinkering from us.

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#5)  Re: Book Impressions – Nature’s Temples by Joan Maloof

Postby AndrewJoslin » Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:22 pm

I had the opportunity to host a book event with Joan Maloof at the 18th century former tavern where I live in Carlisle, MA. We packed the the biggest room in the house with a great group, including some superb local naturalists. Joan held forth in front of a roaring fire and kept everyone enthralled. Earlier that day I took Joan to some choice trees in a less well traveled pat of Estabrook Woods. We certainly walked in the footsteps of Thoreau, a narrow north/south esker we visited is the only way through an old red maple swamp. A cellar hole just north of the esker was mentioned and named by Thoreau in his writings on Estabrook. Which reminds me, during Joan's talk it felt as if we'd summoned the spirit of Thoreau, Emerson and Dickinson (borrowed from her Amherst solitude for the night). In some ways nothing has changed, it takes people gathering together to speak eloquently about what is important, to share critical information, to inspire, and to go back out into the world and fight the good fight.

Joan Maloof visiting an old Yellow Birch in Estabrook Woods

Image

Joan pointing out a Frullania species liverwort on the bark of the birch

Image

The next evening Joan spoke at the Arnold Arboretum, again an excellent presentation and great group of people.
-AJ

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