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Forests
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NASA Map Sees Earth's Trees in a New Light

NASA-led science team has created an accurate, high-resolution map of the height of Earth's forests. The map will help scientists better understand the role forests play in climate change and how their heights influence wildlife habitats within them, while also helping them quantify the carbon stored in Earth's vegetation.
Scientists from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.; the University of Maryland, College Park; and Woods Hole Research Centre, Falmouth, Mass., created the map using 2.5 million carefully screened, globally distributed laser pulse measurements from space. The light detection and ranging (lidar) data were collected in 2005 by the Geoscience Laser Altimeter System instrument on NASA's Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat).

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Uncovering Da Vinci's Rule of the Trees

As trees shed their foliage this fall, they reveal a mysterious, nearly universal growth pattern first observed by Leonardo da Vinci 500 years ago: a simple yet startling relationship that always holds between the size of a tree's trunk and sizes of its branches. A new paper has reignited the debate over why trees grow this way, asserting that they may be protecting themselves from wind damage.
Trees are fractal in nature, meaning that patterns created by the large structures, such as the main branches, repeat themselves in smaller structures, such as smaller branches.
Christophe Eloy, from the University of Provence in France,  started with a fractal tree skeleton, in which smaller copies of the main branches are repeatedly added together to create the virtual tree. Each new branch takes after its "mother" branch, mimicking the fractal nature of real trees. At this stage, the model tree served merely as a framework for later determining the most effective branch thickness.
Once the skeleton was completed, Eloy put it to the test in a virtual wind tunnel. After applying various wind forces needed to break the branches, Eloy determined the diameters for each branch that limited the chance of snapping. Accounting for every part from the smallest twig to the trunk, the simulation seemed to produce Leonardo's rule.

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Prometheus (aka WPN-114) was the nickname given to the oldest known non-clonal organism, a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, USA. The tree, which was at least 4862 years old and likely approaching or over 5000 years, was cut down in 1964 by a graduate student and U.S. Forest Service personnel for research purposes. They did not know of its world-record age before the cutting
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Gondwanaland is helping scientists to improve forest models

The Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), with the opening of the Gondwanaland world tropical experience on 1 July, will constantly measure the growth of a tropical tree. The tree is a Council tree (Ficus altissima) which is currently about eight feet high. A highly sensitive measuring ring records the smallest changes to its trunk circumference. The data is analysed by computer. In this way, the new tropical house of the zoo in Leipzig helps researchers to improve the accuracy of forest models.
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Corsham Court Oriental plane 'most spreading tree in UK'

An Oriental plane the size of a football pitch has been identified as the "most spreading" tree in the UK.
The plane at Corsham Court, near Chippenham in Wiltshire, was planted by master landscape gardener Lancelot "Capability" Brown in 1760.
With an average spread of 64m it has been identified in a study by the Tree Register of the British Isles as the country's vastest tree.

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Coniferous (cone-bearing) trees have dominated the earth for hundreds of millions of years. Carbon Age forests were made up of conifers. Conifers survived the geological disaster 250 million years ago that paved the way for the age of the dinosaurs. When the impact of a meteorite wiped out the dinosaurs, conifers lived on. Today, conifers dominate major regions of the earth -- the combined weight of all the people on earth is less than that of the conifers in Jämtland County in central Sweden!
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Jurupa Oak
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It began life during the last ice age, long before man turned to agriculture and built the first cities in the fertile crescent of the Middle East. It was already thousands of years old when the Egyptians built their pyramids and the ancient Britons erected Stonehenge.
The Jurupa Oak tree first sprouted into life when much of the world was still covered in glaciers. It has stood on its windswept hillside in southern California for at least 13,000 years, making it the oldest known living organism.

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RE: Tree
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Prometheus (aka WPN-114) was the nickname given to the oldest known non-clonal organism, a Great Basin Bristlecone Pine (Pinus longaeva) tree growing near the tree line on Wheeler Peak in eastern Nevada, USA. The tree, which was at least 4862 years old and likely approaching or over 5000 years, was cut down in 1964 by a graduate student and U.S. Forest Service personnel for research purposes.
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Bangladesh university battles to save tree from extinction.

A unique tree at Dhaka University in Bangladesh has united students across the campus who are battling to save it from extinction and hold out hopes that its seeds may prove to have medicinal qualities.
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Study Finds Amazon Storm Killed Half a Billion Trees

A single, huge, violent storm that swept across the whole Amazon forest in 2005 killed half a billion trees, according to a new study funded by NASA and Tulane University, New Orleans.
While storms have long been recognised as a cause of Amazon tree loss, this study is the first to actually quantify losses from a storm. And the losses are much greater than previously suspected, say the study's authors, which include research scientist Sassan Saatchi of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif. The work suggests that storms may play a larger role in the dynamics of Amazon forests than previously recognized, they add.

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