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Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Martian Trees Will Be Taller

Redwood trees in California, USA.
Redwood trees in California, USA.
When Mars is terraformed, it will have the lakes, deserts, and forests not of Earth, but of its own, unique style. For someone growing up on Mars, to see pictures of Earth would be to see an alien landscape, with strange natural and human features.

Recent research by ecologists at Northern Arizona University at Flagstaff, Arizona, has shown that gravity is the key limiting factor in redwood tree growth on Earth. As the tree grows in an effort to get more light than its neighbors, less and less water is drawn to the top of the tree through transpiration and conduction, leading to desert-like conditions at the top of the tree. As gravity on Mars is 3.69 m/s2, theoretically Martian trees should be able to grow significantly higher than their terrestrial counterparts. The Earth's biggest tree is 370 feet tall. Mars' biggest tree may be a thousand feet tall if no other factors limit growth.

Forget Olympus Mons and Valles Marineris. By terraforming Mars, we would create natural wonders to dwarf those found on Earth.

(More info: Yahoo! News)

- posted by Brian @ 20:04 EST