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Strangler figs: Silent assassins, diversity engines, rainforest timekeepers

[fa icon="calendar'] Jun 19, 2017 12:50:06 PM / by Varun Swamy posted in Tambopata Research Center, Amazon, Peru, rainforest, Tambopata, rainforest fruits, keystone species, frugivores, Buttresses, Canopy, Megaflora, Strangler fig, Ficus

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(Borrowing from a J&B whisky commercial from the 1990s…)

Tradition says: "A tree must begin its life from the forest floor".

Tradition says:  "A tree shall form a relatively cylindrical trunk".

Tradition says: "A tree shalt not kill another tree".

Well, strangler fig trees clearly did not receive these edicts...or perhaps they did, and decided "To Hell with tradition!" - much to the delight of aficionados of bizarre, spectacular tropical nature of the floral kind. 

Ficus ypsilophlebia, a spectacular and emblematic strangler fig species of the Amazon rainforest (Photo: Varun Swamy) 

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The boom-and-bust rainforest

[fa icon="calendar'] Apr 29, 2017 12:57:33 AM / by Varun Swamy posted in rainforest fruits, keystone species, frugivores, seasonality, phenology, Aerobotany, Megaflora

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With gusting winds and a sharp plunge in temperature, the first friaje of 2017 arrived earlier this week in Puerto Maldonado, signaling the official transition from wet to dry weather in Tambopata and across the Madre de Dios basin. Rainforest denizens definitely took note, for the wet-to-dry season transition also signals a pronounced shift in their day-to-day lives – a switch from "boom" to "bust" times.

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Wired Amazon in Tambopata Peru

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