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Canopy Biology

Monkeys swing through for a bite to eat, ants cross from tree to tree on liana highways, and climate variables shape cycles of flowering, fruiting and photosynthesis: there is a lot going on in the forest canopy. To overcome the limitations of studying towering tropical forests from the normal human vantage point, Smithsonian scientists in Panama revolutionized canopy biology by erecting construction cranes in forests on both sides of the Isthmus of Panama. More daring biologists continue to climb into the treetops to set up camera traps and observe animal behavior first hand.

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