Hidden away in foggy, uncharted rain forest valleys in Northern California are the tallest organisms the world has ever sustained--the coast redwood trees. 96% of the ancient redwood forests have been logged, but the fragments that remain are among the great wonders of nature. The biggest redwoods can rise more than thirty-five stories above the ground, forming cathedral-like structures in the air. Until recently, the canopy at the tops of these majestic trees was undiscovered. Writer Preston unfolds the story of the daring botanists and amateur naturalists that found a lost world above California, dangerous, hauntingly beautiful, and unexplored. The deep redwood canopy is a vertical Eden filled with mosses, lichens, spotted salamanders, hanging gardens of ferns, and thickets of huckleberry bushes, all growing out of massive trunk systems, sometimes hollowed out by fire. Thick layers of soil sitting on limbs harbor animal and plant life unknown to science.--From publisher description.
The best-selling author of <IT>The Hot Zone<RO> takes a close-up look at the world's tallest trees, the coast redwoods that grow only in the coastal regions of California, and at the previously unknown ecosystem that the trees form high in the air in the forest canopy, profiling the scientists and researchers that study this unique, labyrinthine ecological niche. Reprint. 30,000 first printing.