10 Tips for Documenting Trees

September 4, 2015
 Photographic Tips

Spring is finally here and all around us trees are budding, dressing their dreary branches in green. This is an ideal time to get some lovely pictures of trees, and also start a fun project – document a tree photographically through all the seasons. For identification purposes it is always good to photograph different views of the tree. Keep these 10 tips in mind: Start with an overall shot of the tree from different angles, showing its shape. Include some foreground detail for scale. Take a picture of the trunk. Take close-up pictures of the bark. Photograph the branching pattern where the branches grow from the trunk. Photograph a single leaf. Photograph several leafs with their stem and how they grow from a branch. For an artistic touch, try to shoot some pictures with the sun behind the leaves. Photograph a bud and flowers in various stages of opening and growth. Photograph …

Are there Drought Effects on Carbon Cycling?

September 3, 2015
 Research

Forests store nearly half of the carbon found in land-based ecosystems. But what are the fate of forests under increasingly extreme climate changes? The answer to this question is important to better understand and predict carbon cycle feedbacks to climate change. Anderegg et al. examined the recovery of stem growth in trees after severe drought at 1338 forest sites across the globe. They found that forests exhibit a drought legacy effect of reduced growth and incomplete recovery for 1 to 4 years after severe drought. The study found that forests will be less able to act as a sink for carbon during this period of delayed growth. These new insights can be used to make more accurate predictions of the effects of drought on the global carbon cycle. Source: Anderegg et al. (2015). Pervasive drought legacies in forest ecosystems and their implications for carbon cycle models. SCIENCE. Volume 349, Issue 6247, p. 528.

The Secrets of Trees

September 3, 2015
 Inspired by Nature

What do you see when you look at a tree? Some people will say they see its leaves, or its form, or the ambiance it creates. I suppose there are some people who barely notice them at all. And then there are these creative minds, both young and old, who have turned to trees in search of solutions to some of the most challenging problems we face today. Here are their stories. 1. Collecting solar energy like a tree 13-year old Aidan realized that trees use a fibonacci sequence to gather sunlight in crowded forests. Then he wondered why we don’t collect solar energy in the same way.   2. Plastic “Tree” to convert CO2 to greener fuel This technology could potentially pull a thousand times more carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere than trees and could one day power our cars with a greener fuel.   3. Tree-shaped wind turbines A French company has been developing aesthetically …

Inspired by Nature

September 2, 2015
 Inspired by Nature

Research and development. For millions of years, Nature has been at it, perfecting systems and designs in order to sustain life. We need to look no further to solve our sustainability problems. The central premise behind Biomimicry is to seek sustainable solutions to human challenges by emulating Nature’s successful designs and strategies. Join us here every week as we look at innovations that were inspired by nature.

5 Tree Adventures For Young and Old

September 2, 2015
 Field trip

Trees offer opportunities for some rather unique adventures. Here is our list of a few must-experience “Tree Adventures”. Whether you are looking for an adrenaline rush or something a bit more tranquil, these trees have you covered! 1. The Boomslang, Kirstenbosch The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds its way through and over the +/-430 trees of the Arboretum at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens in Cape Town. It offers magnificent views of the garden and mountain. Inspired by a snake skeleton, it is informally called ‘The Boomslang‘ (meaning tree snake). Photo credit: © Adam Harrower 2. The Big Baobabs, Limpopo Province Visit the three largest Baobabs in South Africa. The Sagole Baobab lies between Tshipise and Pafuri in the far north of Limpopo province, and the Glencoe Baobab is located just outside Hoedspruit. The third one, the Sunland Big Baobab, boasts a bar inside the …

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