Lianas strangling trees

Lianas strangling trees - nsf.gov - National Science...

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NSF Web Site Press Release 11-057 Stranglers of the Tropics--and Beyond Rampant woody vines, or lianas, are choking trees, changing tropical and temperate forest ecosystems Explore exotic and destructive lianas in this photo gallery . Credit and Larger Version March 25, 2011 View the photo gallery "A Tangled Proposition." Kudzu, the plant scourge of the U.S. Southeast. The long tendrils of this woody vine, or liana, are on the move north with a warming climate. But kudzu may be no match for the lianas of the tropics, scientists have found. Data from sites in eight studies show that lianas are overgrowing trees in every instance. If the trend continues, these "stranglers-of-the-tropics" may suffocate equatorial forest ecosystems. Tropical forests contain more than half of Earth's terrestrial species, and contribute more than a third of global terrestrial carbon and a third of terrestrial net primary productivity, says ecologist Stefan Schnitzer of the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee. Schnitzer is co-author with Frans Bongers of Wageningen University in the Netherlands of a paper on lianas in the current issue of the journal Ecology Letters . "Any alteration of tropical forests has important ramifications for species diversity, productivity--and ultimately the global carbon cycle," says Schnitzer. Tropical forests are indeed experiencing large-scale structural changes, the most obvious of which may be the increase in lianas, according to Robert Sanford, an NSF program director. The research was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s Division of Environmental Biology. What a tangled web lianas weave--in
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This note was uploaded on 09/29/2011 for the course BIO 201 taught by Professor True during the Spring '08 term at SUNY Stony Brook.

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Lianas strangling trees - nsf.gov - National Science...

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