Here in the Pacific Northwest, newly logged or burned forest sites are usually colonized by fast-growing Red Alder, which reportedly replenish soil nutrients. The common wisdom seems to be that these trees live for 60-80 years, then die, making way for evergreen species.
GRobLewis, does this refer to one of Cecil’s columns? If so, a link would be helpful. I’m guessing: http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/1073/can-trees-live-forever ?
Sorry, I’m unfamiliar with the “new” commenting system. In the old days, you had to be a paying member to leave comments, so I never did. I was a little confused when I clicked the “comment on this” (or whatever it says) link in Cecil’s article and was taken to the top level of the forum. Why should I have to create my own link in a case like this? Shouldn’t it be done for me in an automatically-created reply? A bit lame, if you ask me.
Anyway, your surmise is correct about what I was commenting on.
Some years ago the BBC released a wonderful five-part documentary called, “The Private Life of Plants”. Anybody interested in this topic (life of plants) would do well to get a copy or some way to watch it.
If I got it right, plants, like animals, all have different life-spans (barring desease or infestation, etc.) So far the oldest, or the plant with the logest potential lifespan, as Cecil stated, is the Bristle Cone Pine. Redwoods come in a close second.
Watch the documentary and learn that plants are much like animals except tha they live on a different time-scale; but like us, all have different life spans.
“Should”? Yes, it should, in an ideal world where the software did all it could. But alas, it don’t. So we ask people to provide a link. Not a big deal if they don’t, but helpful to others.
Just wanted to say on the article, it’s not just trees. Some scientists think that lobsters are immortal potentially if nothing kills them.
There is also a jellyfish that may be potentially immortal. as well as various other small creatures.
Interesting question whether the same applies to trees.