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Amazon trees much older than assumed, raising questions on global climate impact of region

osphere-Atmosphere Experiment in Amazonia (LBA), the researchers revealed an interesting portrait of tree life beneath the limbs of the large trees that dominate tropical forests. They found that most Amazon basin trees are so old because they grow very slowly on nutrient-poor soils in dark shade under the canopy of large trees. The growth rates they measured for Central Amazon trees are among the slowest in any forest on Earth. These results, Trumbore points out, are contrary to the widely held view that tropical forests are highly dynamic.

"In addition, the impact of logging activity in the Amazon region may be longer-lasting than we think," Trumbore added, "because it may take centuries for these forests to grow back to their full size."

Some of the older trees found in the study included economically valuable species. For example, three Brazil nut trees measured in the study ranged in age from 680 to 1,000 years.


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Source:University of California - Irvine


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