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Southernmost Tree In The World: Where Is The Southernmost Tree In The World?

Southernmost Tree In The World: On Isla Hornos, Chile, the world's southernmost tree, as well as the condition and growth pattern of the world's southernmost forest, have been documented. Read this article further to get more details about the Southernmost Tree In The World.

by Pooja | Updated Oct 13, 2021 06:39 AM

Southernmost Tree In The World: Where Is The Southernmost Tree In The World?
Source: National Geographic

Southernmost Tree In The World

In 2019, A research team located the world’s southernmost tree on an island near the tip of South America. The small tree is 42 years old, spreads several metres along the ground yet is barely half a metre, or approximately a foot and a half, tall. This tree would grow tall and straight in another location, but here, powerful winds twist and limit the tree's height and location. And those winds are shifting as a result of climate change.

Standing on the southern side of the wind-battered tree implies that all of the world's trees are to your north, and you have nothing but grasses, ocean, and Antarctica to your back. A small colony of Nothofagus betuloides - the Magellan's beech or coigüe – can be found on Isla Hornos, often known as Cape Horn. The wind is always present. Cape Horn is one of the world's windiest regions.

Where Is The Southernmost Tree In The World?

On Isla Hornos, Chile, the world's southernmost tree, as well as the condition and growth pattern of the world's southernmost forest, have been documented. The abiotic environment has a significant impact on tree distribution at large scales, and knowing the location and condition of tree boundaries around the world is an important approach to track global change.

World's Southernmost Tree

A group of 14 researchers led by biologist Brian Buma of the University of Colorado-Denver travelled to Isla Hornos in the Cape Horn archipelago, near the southern tip of Chile, in early 2019. What do they want to achieve? To see the world's southernmost tree for the first time. Their journey was more than just another expedition to capture life at the world's extremes: the information they gathered would help scientists figure out what environmental variables limit plant life on the planet. The results of their research were just published in the journal Ecography.

The expedition crew assessed trees over Isla Hornos, a rugged island with a surface area of just nine square kilometres. They surveyed the plant life in the same way that forest ecologists around the world do: they identified and measured trees and took wood cores to estimate their ages. In contrast to tropical forests, which might have over 500 varieties of tree per hectare, Isla Hornos has only three types of trees. Because of the high wind that blows over the island, the trees there grow horizontally rather than vertically.

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Southernmost Tree In The World: FAQs

1. Where is the most southernmost tree in the world?

On Isla Hornos' northeast slope near sea level, an N. betuloides is the world's current southernmost tree.

2. What species is the world's southernmost tree?

Nothofagus betuloides – the Magellan's beech or coigüe species is the world's southernmost tree.

3. Where is the tree at the bottom of the world?

On Isla Hornos, an island off the coast of South America, Brian Buma takes measurements along the intact edge of a vast area of trees.

4. Why are there no trees in Patagonia?

Species in the Andean desert, like other vegetation in Patagonia, have evolved to withstand extreme environmental conditions.

5. What is the northernmost tree in the world?

Larch (Dahurian larch Larix gmelinii) is the northernmost tree in the world.

6. Are there any trees on Antarctica?

Another sort of "tree" - or rather the remains of trees - can be found on the opposite side of the earth, in the Antarctic.

7. Are there any forests in Greenland?

The valley is about 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) long, going roughly north to south and ending at Tasersuag Lake, and contains Greenland's only natural forest.