GIANTS of the Amazon: trees larger than usual intrigue scientists

In the dense jungle In the Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, in Amapá, the trees defy logic and reach extraordinary heights of between 60 and 80 meters, comparable to 18-story buildings.

An expedition led by biologist Paulo Bittencourt, from the University of Exeter, is unveiling the secrets of these giant plants, especially the red angelim (Dinizia excelsa), which goes beyond established notions about the stature of trees in tropical regions.

Challenging scientific paradigms

Until recently, towering trees like California’s redwoods were believed to be exclusive to temperate climates. However, the discovery of giant species in the Amazon challenges this paradigm.

The Pesquisa FAPESP report accompanied the expedition in October, highlighting the researchers’ commitment to understanding the exceptional growth of such trees in the Amazon, despite climate conditions distinct from temperate regions.

A red angelim – Image: Leo Ramos Chaves/Reproduction

Biologist Rafael Oliveira, from the State University of Campinas (Unicamp), highlights that the lack of knowledge about the existence of giant trees in the tropics persisted until recently.

The expedition seeks to understand the ecological factors that favor the growth of these plants, such as climate stability, average temperature and the incidence of strong winds.

Preliminary results indicate that the Tumucumaque Mountains National Park, with its high topography and areas protected from strong winds, may harbor the highest biomass density in the tropics.

Forest engineer Robson Borges de Lima, from the State University of Amapá, highlights the importance of remote areas, such as the National Park, in preserving these giants and maintaining the biodiversity.

Researchers also explore advanced technologies such as Lidar to understand the architecture of trees and their reactions to environmental changes.

Matheus Nunes, from the University of Maryland, emphasizes that knowledge about the architecture of giant trees is crucial to understanding their exceptional size and the challenges they face in different environments.

In addition to contributing to the understanding of the ecology of these unique trees, the research highlights the importance of preserving remote areas of the Amazon, which play a crucial role in containing global warming.

Giant trees absorb large amounts of carbon, and the destruction of these forests could have significant impacts on the atmosphere.

In relation :  5 artificial intelligences that marked geek culture

As researchers unravel the mysteries of Earth’s giant trees, Amazonthe need to protect such remote and unique regions becomes increasingly evident.

The Amazon continues to surprise, challenging established concepts and revealing secrets that could have significant implications for the global environmental balance.