forest canopy
vascular plants
tree trunks
tropical forests
forest trees
species diversity
utility poles

How to Cite

Mori, S. A. (1995). EXPLORING FOR PLANT DIVERSITY IN THE CANOPY OF A FRENCH GUIANAN FOREST. Selbyana, 16(1), 94–98. Retrieved from https://journals.flvc.org/selbyana/article/view/120847


Climbing trees with the aid of French spikes has been highly effective for gathering the specimens needed to document the plant diversity of a lowland forest in French Guiana. Botanical exploration would have been incomplete without exploring the canopy because 64% of the vascular plant species are efficiently collected only from above the ground. More complicated canopy access methods (e.g., ropes, balloons, cranes, walkways, miniature helicopters, etc.) are either too expensive or not mobile enough to allow for complete botanical inventory. Although the use of spikes to enter the canopy damages some trees, mortality is probably low. The damage caused by occasional climbs probably adds little to the already high turnover time of lowland tropical forests and consequently is expected to have little negative impact on plant and animal diversity. The use of spikes to climb tropical trees, however, is not recommended for long term ecological studies or for studies in which the trees have to be climbed repeatedly.


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