A Cubic Foot of Tropical Forest - Mo‘orea, Polynesia

Trees and forests of the Pacific oceanic islands.

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#1)  A Cubic Foot of Tropical Forest - Mo‘orea, Polynesia

Postby edfrank » Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:26 pm

A Cubic Foot of Tropical Forest

(This is a nice photo set from national Geographic)


Photograph by David Liittschwager, National Geographic


National Geographic photographer David Liittschwager photographed this Metrosiderous tree and all 58 species he found crawling, flying, or taking root in it. He and a team of scientists accounted for 49 arthropods, 2 reptiles, and 7 plant and fungus species.

The forests of Mo‘orea are a combination of species introduced by the Polynesians and invasives introduced by European settlers, with a few scattered native species.

"There was a nest of Technomyrmex ants close to the cube," Liittschwager says. "This non-native ant had surely suppressed the local native diversity."

(See more of Liittschwager's photos from Mo‘orea.)

--Tasha Eichenseher and David Liittschwager
Published February 23, 20

Karta_FP_Societe_isl.PNG (5.67 KiB) Viewed 2325 times

Moorea is a high island in French Polynesia, part of the Society Islands, 17 km (roughly 9 mi) northwest of Tahiti. Its position is 17°32′S 149°50′W.

Special Report: Island Life Under the Microscope in Mo'orea

Taking Taxonomy to the Next Level

After scientists are done "bar coding" Mo'orea's biodiversity, the island could serve as a model for understanding how ecosystems respond to stresses such as invasive species, climate change, and pollution.

The Gritty History of Mo'orea

The remains of ancient temples provide a window into a complex cultural and agricultural history on this French Polynesian island.

An Infinite Photograph of Tropical Island Life

Explore a photo mosaic of hundreds of colorful marine and terrestrial species that live on and near Mo'orea and in Biocode Project labs.

Tahitian Ethnobotany Bridging Western Science and Polynesian Tradition

Elders start to work with scientists on preserving the biodiversity of Mo‘orea, before their traditions and the species they know are lost for good.

"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky
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