Scientists find the tallest tree in the Amazon

Airborne laser scanning revealed the presence of many trees taller than 80 m, which now poses questions to scientists on how they grow and survive.


Scientists from Brazil, United Kindgom and Finland found the tallest tree in the Amazon. The discovery was made after surveys from airborne laser scanning (ALS) were conducted within the Amazon basin. At 88m tall, the tallest tree dwarfs the previous record holders by almost 30m. The tree is located in a remote region, between Pará and Amapá states, at a straight-line distance of 360 km from the Atlantic Ocean, 280 km from the Amazon River delta, and 220 km from the closest city. "These sentinel trees are able to sequester more carbon and may reveal important strategies these plants use to grow really tall and how they are able to survive", says Matheus Nunes from the Terrestrial Ecosystem Dynamics Laboratory, University of Helsinki, on a BBC Brasil interview and co-author of the study published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. The study was led by Eric Gorgens from the University of Vales do Jequitinhonha e Mucuri in Brazil.

For more information, please read the complete interview on BBC (in portuguese).



Gorgens, E.B., Motta, A.Z., Assis, M., Nunes, M.H., Jackson, T., Coomes, D., Rosette, J., Aragão, L.E.O.E.C. and Ometto, J.P., 2019. The giant trees of the Amazon basin. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 17(7), pp.373-374.