Monday, June 19, 2023

The Journey To Find A Very Tall Tree In The Amazon

Environmental & Science Education, STEM, Nature

Ed Hessler

A photojournal essay from Nature (June 7, 2023) takes us on the journey of the team of researchers who visited a forest giant found in the Amazon basin. It is the tallest known tree in South America and was identified from an aerial survey. While it was the tallest tree found, "the data revealed several others reaching" impressive heights and "five other sites with unusually tall trees." It is suspected that still taller trees will be found.

The team was more than likely the first people to have ever seen it. Nature Briefing explains that "no people live within a 100 kilometers ( ~ 62 miles), and even if they had passed by, it would have been impossible for them to see the top through the thick canopy." 

This was the second attempt by the team although the second team was much larger - nineteen compared to first team of seven.

The term "lidar data" is explained here.

The story of this "epic quest" was written by Richard Monastersky and photographed by Pablo Albarenga.  The story is as lovely as the lush photography which also includes video.

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