Western Redcedar Dieback Map - Community Scientists Needed

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Joey Hulbert, Jan 25, 2021.

  1. Joey Hulbert

    Joey Hulbert New Member

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    Greetings HortForum Members!

    My name is Joey and I am a postdoctoral researcher at WSU based in Puyallup, Washington. As part of a collaborative program called Forest Health Watch, we've launched a project to map the dieback of western redcedar on inaturalist.org.

    Western redcedar is a super important species to the region, but many reports of dieback have been shared in recent years. More information is needed to understand the patterns and factors, and and identify vulnerable areas.

    Community scientists can help by sharing observations of healthy and unhealthy redcedar trees using the iNaturalist smartphone application. Anyone can be a community scientist. For more information visit Redcedar Dieback Map.

    Thanks! Let me know if you have any questions by contacting us or commenting below.
    50267321018_75e428a841_k.jpg
     
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  2. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I'd like to help with this; I've been noticing stressed, dying and dead Thuja plicata for years since moving to Vancouver Island. I hope there is another way to report problems without using a smart phone . . .

    Share Your Observations!

    Step 1: Download the iNaturalist Smart Phone Application
     
  3. Joey Hulbert

    Joey Hulbert New Member

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    Hi Margot,

    Great point! Yes, community scientists can also add observations through an internet browser by visiting https://inaturalist.org/.

    Thanks
     
  4. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks Joey, I'll discuss with others to see how else UBC BG might be able to contribute.
     
  5. Joey Hulbert

    Joey Hulbert New Member

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    Hi Daniel,

    That would be excellent. Please let me know if there is an opportunity to give a presentation or share more about the Forest Health Watch program or the Western Redcedar Dieback Map. We are looking for more partners and collaborators.

    Thanks
     
  6. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Hello Joey,

    Would you mind sending me a note via email what becoming an institutional partner or collaborator requires?

    Thanks,
    Daniel
     
  7. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Easier said than done! After spending at least 30 minutes creating an account a couple of days ago, I now keep getting bounced back to 'Create an Account' when I visit A Community for Naturalists ยท iNaturalist . A smart phone seems to be a prerequisite regardless.

    Sorry to say, I've lost interest in participating in something that I feel should be more straightforward and uncomplicated. Maybe, if Daniel can create an account for the UBC Forums, I'll be able to contribute through that.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  8. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I don't think a smart phone is required, but I logged in using the option to use my facebook or google ID. I'm guessing, @Margot, that you don't have either of those, unless your mail account counts as a google account. I'm on a page now that is asking me to enter all kinds of information, but of course, I'm not paying any attention to western red cedars at all. Do you get to this page? (If you click the picture, click the up arrow at the upper right, click the picture to magnify it, you can actually see what it says.)
    Observations_iNaturalist_Cutler_2021-01-26_22-11-01.jpg
     
  9. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thanks Wendy. I'll take a look at this tomorrow.
     
  10. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Thank you @wcutler and @Joey Hulbert. I finally found this page. Its focus on individual trees makes it difficult to convey the magnitude of the problem in the Oceanside area where literally hundreds of Thuja plicata have died over the past 10 years.

    It's like identifying individual Covid cases when we already know we're dealing with a pandemic.

    Suffice to say, this is becoming a very well-recognized situation and warrants the serious attention being given to it but I have no doubt that when you correlate the loss of Red Cedars to the lack of rainfall in the areas where they are dying, the answer will be obvious.


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If I am interpreting it correctly, the data-gathering methodology is intended to get a broad-scale understanding across the entire distribution. If I had to guess, they are taking "point" data (observations of a single tree and what is occurring around it) from many places, and then using statistical methods to get the bigger picture. So, it would be important for your local area to have 5-10 data points added, but eventually there will be diminishing returns for their dataset as the statistical analysis will begin to grant less weight to clustered data points.

    While there may be a correlation with a reduction in precipitation, something like this data set may also be able to answer "what is the tipping point?" or if there are local populations that are seemingly more drought-resistant (e.g., perhaps the plants along the riparian corridors in interior BC that connect the interior rainforest plants with the coastal ones).
     
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  12. Margot

    Margot Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    I understand the need for ongoing monitoring of Western Redcedar dieback and perhaps 'citizen science' can be useful with that. However the extent of the potential problem has been identified and studied for many years already as I am sure Forest Health Watch is aware.

    Western Redcedar Dieback: Possible Links to Climate Change and Implications for Forest Management on Vancouver Island, BC.
    Western redcedar dieback : possible links to climate change and implications for forest management on Vancouver Island, B.C.

    A New Climate for Conservation Nature, Carbon and Climate Change in British Columbia
    A New Climate for Conservation: Nature, Carbon and Climate Change in British Columbia - David Suzuki Foundation
     
  13. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Margot, Joey said "More information is needed to understand the patterns and factors, and and identify vulnerable areas." You disagreed and said "However the extent of the potential problem has been identified and studied for many years already". I read your links, and their relevant references, and they just don't support your claim. In fact they say the opposite. The first study is only of 27 trees in a very limited area, and admits this makes it difficult to make firm recommendations for forest managers and that more study is needed. The pdf at the second link is not a study and only has 1 sentence about Western redcedar dieback in one limited area, but it does have a reference to a study which is also has no info about actual dieback, but discusses some projections (not based on actual dieback records) and the need for more study. So I don't see at all where the extent of the problem has already been well identified, at least from what you posted.
     
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  14. Tom Hulse

    Tom Hulse Active Member 10 Years

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    Why is real actual dieback data needed? That may be obvious to some here, but I think it's important to clarify. It was mentioned it would be valuable info for forest managers, and that's true, but perhaps only a drop in the bucket. Projections for dieback in the future combine regional climate data and global warming projections with known tolerances of this tree. If the actual dieback data match the projections, then there can be much more confidence by lawmakers, policy makers, and leaders that the data will also follow projections in the future; and those projections will become much more accurate and undeniable. If we only have simple projections, in the absence of hard, comprehensive dieback data, then politics can win over policy decisions as scientific projections are doubted, picked at, slandered, and denied. It's not so easy to deny hard data on such an iconic and economically important species. So this type of data from such a notable tree reaches far beyond this one species and is very valuable for testifying to the truth of climate change data in relation to all species. I would love to hear others' thoughts on why this data is important!
     
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2021
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