(Rio de Janeiro) After three years of planning, five expeditions and a two-week trek through the jungle, a team of scientists has reached the largest tree ever found in the Amazon rainforest, a model the size of a 25-story building. .
Posted at 6:41 pm yesterday.
The giant tree whose crown rises above the canopy of the Iradapuru River Nature Reserve in northern Brazil is the 88.5 meter tall and 9.9 meter diameter Tinicia excelsa.
Researchers first spotted it on satellite images in 2019 and a team of local researchers, conservationists and guides attempted to reach it that same year.
But after ten days of trekking over difficult terrain, exhaustion, few provisions and a sick crew member, they had to turn back.
Three other expeditions to the remote area of the Jari Valley, located on the border between Amaba and Pará states, have reached several large trees, including the largest Brazil nut tree ever recorded in the Amazon. , 66 meters high.
But the massive Tinicia excelsa remained untouched until the September 12-25 expedition, during which researchers traveled 250 km by boat and walked more than 20 km through montane forest to reach it.
One of the 19 expedition members was bitten by what the team doctor thought was a poisonous spider.
But it’s worth it, says Diego Armando Silva, a forestry engineer at the Federal University of Amaba.
“It’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. Simply divine,” Silva told AFP.
The team took samples that were specifically analyzed to determine the age of the tree (at least 400 to 600 years, according to Mr. Silva) and the amount of carbon it was storing.
According to Silva, the giant trees in this area weigh up to 400,000 tons, half of which is absorbed from the atmosphere.
Despite being distant, these giants are threatened.
Jacqueline Pereira of the NGO Amazon, which took part in the expedition, explains that the Tinesia Excelsa tree is prized by loggers and the reserve is encroached upon by illegal gold miners.
Over the past three years, average annual deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon has increased by 75% compared to the previous decade.