Sunday, February 11, 2007

Brazil nut tree, alive

In an earlier post I showed images of dead Brazil nut trees (Bertholetia excelsa) killed by man in his effort to introduce mechanized agriculture in the Amazon. I'm glad to report that all of our trees are still alive and well at the Bosque, including one tree that is more than 300 years old. You'll notice in the attached image that there are three individual trees fused together at the base. This is quite a common occurrence for Brazil nut trees because they germinate from pods, which have an average of 14 seeds. These seeds are super packaged by the woody-like pod and individual shells, so it can take two or three years for these elements to decompose enough for germination. They can all germinate together inside a rotting pod, thus the probability of more than one tree in a stand.

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