“In the 70s Meg Lowman was the first person to study trees while dangling in their canopy. It was her front row seat to climate change —–“It was dark at the base of the Coachwood tree but sun began to flicker across Meg Lowman’s face as she hoisted herself higher. It was 1978 and the 25-year-old borrowed some caving ropes to pull herself up into the canopy of the tree in the Royal national park in Sydney. When she reached 30 metres, she says, “mayhem broke loose around me”.
Hoisting herself took some doing and at first Lowman found herself “spinning in mid air on a half-inch-thick lifeline, like a tiny caterpillar ballooning on a silk strand through a huge expanse of green”. Once she made it into the canopy, “all I could do is look around me in awe”.
Despite the dizzying beauty, the strangeness of it all, she was soon marking leaves with a felt-tip pen and trying to figure out what creatures were eating the leaves, and how long those leaves might live. Lowman was in the unique position of being the first scientist to sit in the canopy of a rainforest tree to study the rich biodiversity of what she now calls “the eighth continent” – the world of the treetops – at exactly the time in history this biodiversity was becoming imperilled”.
Click here to read the full article!