Scientists from the Carnegie Institute of Science at Stanford University, reported that they had found the tallest tropical tree, which reaches a height of 94.1 meters. The tree is located in Borneo.
In addition, scientists have identified another 49 other trees whose height exceeds 90 meters.
This discovery comes just months after another team from the University of Cambridge in the UK announced the discovery of the tallest tropical tree with a height of 89.5 meters in the reserve “Maliau Basin” in the state of Sabah in Borneo.
But researchers from Carnegie Institute, with the help of laser scanning, found that another area in Sabah – called “Danum Valley” contains trees with even greater heights.
Researchers have identified the height of the trees using a spacecraft called “Carnegie Airborne Observatory”. The spacecraft uses a laser system “LiDAR” (Light Detection and Ranging) that can perform measurement and mapping of landscapes in three dimensions.
This technique is based on 500,000 laser shots-per-second, which are made from the bottom of the plane while flying. You can obtain very detailed 3D view of the canopy of the forest to the ground.
With this data, the researchers again returned to the area by helicopter. They were able to single out the tallest tree from the rest of the forest.
Because the tree is observed only from a distance, scientists still haven’t been able to determine which type it belongs. But it probably is of the gender Shorea, which covers almost 200 species of tropical trees that are native to southeast Asia.
In Borneo there are around 130 of these species, which can live for hundreds of years. But many of them are threatened by exploitation (logging).
It may seem remarkable, but this tree is not the tallest one in the world. The tallest tree is the Sequoia (Sequoia sempervirens) with a height of 115.5 meters.
Despite measures of physical size, the objective is to discover more about the prevalence and health of these forest populations. That will, in turn, provide better protection from various threats such as logging.
The new study is not yet published in the scientific journal. It is necessary to obtain verification from other scientists who have not had the opportunity to examine the research.