News Round-Up

Environmental researchers uncover the story of the Amazon’s understory


For the first time, scientists know more about what trees are dominant in the overstorey and the understorey of the Amazon.

Freddie Draper, a postdoctoral research fellow, Christopher Baraloto, director of the Land and Biodiversity Division of the FIU Institute of Environment, and a team of more than 150 collaborators assembled a new dataset on what species of trees are growing in the Amazon. They found that size matters in determining what trees become dominant. Those species dominating the canopy are different from the ones growing below the canopy in the understory.

Understanding what trees make up the Amazon and where they grow has important implications for understanding how carbon is stored and moved. It can also help scientists better understand the impacts the climate crisis could have on the Amazon’s biodiversity. MORE