Conservation of our planet’s botanical resources and ecosystems

How Indian ecologists are finding unknown treasures hidden in the canopies of trees

canopy

Dr. Lowman is quoted in the following article that talks about Indian scientists exploring the treetops in the Western Ghats.

Article from Scroll.in and written by Padmaparna Ghosh.

Walking into a forest is probably one of the most immersive ecological experiences. It isn’t like walking into any other landscape like a mountain or a desert, both of which introduce their marvels at a deliberate pace. When you step into a forest, it is almost as if the edge zips shut behind you. The trees sieve the bright sunlight into twinkling stars, the soggy ground softens your step and the foliage pushes against the world outside.

Standing under a lofty Cullenia tree, in an evergreen forest in the southern tip of the Western Ghats, I felt less like an observer and more like the observed. Spiders poked out from under leaf litter, and speedy movements caught the corners of my eyes. There was a vague sense that life was apace elsewhere. Somewhere here, a long time ago, Soubadra Devy had stood staring up into the canopy under a shower of half-eaten flowers that rained down on her. The Cullenia held her in its gaze.

Devy is a fellow at the Bengaluru-based Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment, or Atree, and over the past quarter century, neither the tree nor Devy has broken the stare. Her delight in this landscape is unmistakable. She tells stories at every bend of the road up to the forest that is as familiar to her as a well-worn neighbourhood path.

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