DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR MORLEY READ / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Buttress roots on an unidentified tree in the rainforest near Nuevo Rocafuerte in Amazonian Ecuador. In many tropical rainforest trees the roots arise from the trunk above soil level, radiating out in all direction and resembling the butresses used in building technology. These trees are usually shallow- rooted and obtain sufficient moisture from the soil near the surface. The buttresses serve to stabilise the tree.
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