FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
STEVE SILLETT TO SPEAK ON REDWOOD
Steve Sillett ’89, assistant professor of botany at Humboldt State University, will speak on "Tree Crown Structure and Epiphyte Distribution in Redwood Rain Forest Canopies" on Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in Reed College’s psychology auditorim. The lecture is sponsored by the biology department. Sillett’s lecture is free and open to the public.
The tallest forests on Earth are dominated by Sequoia sempervirens, the redwood. The wettest and oldest of these forests, which occur in Humboldt and Del Norte counties, California, have been the subject of intensive rope-based studies at Humboldt State University. Ancient redwood crowns consist of dozens of multiple, resprouted trunks that are as large as full-sized trees in many forests. Thick layers of humus develop on large branches and in crotches at the bases of resprouted trunks. This "soil" resource is home to terrestrial communities of plants and animals, including epiphytic ferns, shrubs, and both hardwood and coniferous trees as well as earthworms, mollusks, and salamanders. Ongoing studies are revealing the wealth of biodiversity hidden above the lowest branches of the world's tallest trees.