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January 18 2013

Why trees can't grow taller than 100 metres


TYPICALLY, the taller the tree, the smaller its leaves. The mathematical explanation for this phenomenon, it turns out, also sets a limit on how tall trees can grow.

Kaare Jensen of Harvard University and Maciej Zwieniecki of the University of California, Davis, compared 1925 tree species, with leaves ranging from a few millimetres to over 1 metre long, and found that leaf size varied most in relatively short trees.

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