Albino Redwood Trees-The Liver of the Forest
For years, the purpose of albino redwood trees—the ghosts of the forest—has stumped scientists. They are smaller white trees that sprout from the giant majestic redwoods.
Sometimes they grow hundreds of feet off the ground. And scientists have kind of joked that these are the part of the forest that sits on the couch while the rest of the trees go out and get a job.
Zane Moore, a researcher at the University of California Davis, analyzed some of the needles from these trees and found they have levels of these toxic heavy metals, like nickel and cadmium and copper, that are twice as high as healthy redwood trees - in some cases, much higher.
The research suggests the albino redwoods might function like a liver, filtering out toxic metals and waste. And if this proves true, you could plant them in areas where there are toxics in the soils. And they could potentially naturally clean up those toxics.
Adapted from “Mystery of White Trees” by Paul Rogers for San Mercury News, KQED & NPR; Photo by Alex Nelson
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