Revelations in the Rainforest Canopy

A daring treetop experiment is yielding key insights into the fate of sensitive rainforest plants as air pollution rises.

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Wiping sweat from her face, ecologist Catherine Cardelùs inches her way up a massive tree in the Costa Rican rainforest, pushing aside tangled vines as she climbs through the understory. Her rope disappears into the thick green above. Thirty minutes later, abdominal muscles screaming, she reaches the canopy and swings her leg over a giant branch 110 feet above the ground. The tree limb she’s straddling is thick with epiphytes — plants that grow on other plants — and they...
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