The Mystery of the Ups and Downs of Acorn Production
Climate Change: Acorn Production
The climate of the Earth has been changing for as far as life can be traced back, but the effects of climate change seem to be getting even worse. New climate extremes (highs and lows) are being recorded all over the world, and many different theories for this change are under discussion. During the video I watched in my Field Natural History class it stated, “Man has control over the world and everything in it,” and I completely agree. The planet is being transformed and we, society, play a huge contributing factor. However, the gradual change in climate is starting to pose more threats on our environment as a whole. The global aspects such as, global warming and natural disaster are constantly being talked about in the media throughout the world. But I think some people need to step back and realize the littler issues that directly have an impact on our local community.
For example, a huge topic on the issue is the threats on wildlife, such as, polar bears. With temperatures warming up, ice and mountains are melting causing the population and natural survival of certain animal species to drop. With that as inspiration I decided to walk out into my own “wildlife” in Winchester, Virginia. One thing I initially noticed was the number of squirrels running through the woods, up the trees, and down the paths. When I started to think about how simple animals like squirrels are affected by the climate change in this area it actually turned out to be an interesting topic. I began to research the production of acorns and see how that can change based on climate changes. The reasoning behind this production research is to see how much food is attainable for squirrels.
An acorn is a nut that can be found on an oak tree, and it is a dominant source of food for some animals in the wildlife. Acorns have a tough exterior and can vary from 1-6 centimeters in length. The production of acorns depends on the life and development of an oak tree, and also the demand for acorns in each environment. What I mean by this is, the more animals in need of the acorns for food, the more sparse they will appear.
I stated earlier in my paper, Oak Trees are what produce acorns and provide them to wildlife around the world. After researching I read about how oak trees do not produce acorns until they are about 20 years old, and the number of acorns are sporadic depending on each year. Furthermore, oak trees production can be highly tested by climate change and placement. In colder areas, such as Northern climates, the trees will drop their leaves in the fall like the typical trees seen in other types. Another contributing factor to oak tree life is the soil where the tree is planted, for example, if an oak tree is located in a dry site it is less likely to grow fast and efficient. Think about it… Climate change plays a huge part in the growing of our ecosystem. Freezing temperatures, droughts, and heat waves are all examples of a disaster for an oak tree.
When oak tree’s production shifts, it also shifts the life and population of certain wildlife animals, such as, squirrels. They are dependent on acorns because that’s there own mean of survival… their food. When climate change affects the growing and producing of oak trees, the acorn production is either slowed down, or brought to a complete stop. This is a vital issue for squirrels, because if they don’t have enough food then they can’t grow as a population in the environment. “Lives of some animals revolve around acorns…” and as years go on, we will see how the climate change continues to hurt wildlife animals in our very own area.