Archive for October 10th, 2012
In no small part, pristine, old-growth Daintree Rainforest owes its integrity to the magnificent design of the Fan Palm (Licuala ramsayi). Spectacularly long-living, densely-packed and growing to two-thirds rainforest height, the large round leaves are organised to provide an excellent funnel that captures strangler seeds dropped by over-flying birds and fruit-bats. Fan Palms are less susceptible to the effects of ‘strangulation’ that upper-canopy giants suffer. Once established, the Fan Palm stranglers connect the upper network of vines that tie rainforest crowns into a single structural inter-connectedness, through a vertical integration into the root-mat at the forest-floor.