What are Lianas?

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What are Lianas? Blog Image


As the world grapples with rising temperatures, a groundbreaking study led by the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia exposes an unlikely menace of Lianas.

About Lianas

  • Lianas (also known as vines, climbing plants or climbers) are plants with long, flexible, climbing stems that are rooted in the ground, and usually have long dangling branches.
  • They particularly thrive in disturbed forest areas — such as those affected by logging, natural treefalls, landslides -- because they can quickly grow towards the forest canopy using trees as support.
  • In terms of climate, lianas are more resilient to variations in moisture and temperature, which gives them a competitive advantage over trees.
  • Lianas use their climbing ability, resilience to climatic stress, and efficient water and nutrient usage to outcompete trees for sunlight and resources.
  • They compete for sunlight in the canopy and suppress trees.
  • Their lower carbon sequestering capacity compared to trees further exacerbates the threat to carbon storage.

Impacts on forest ecosystem

  • An increase in lianas’s competitive success over trees can significantly affect the forest ecosystem.
  • Lianas, being a disturbance-favouring plant form, can impact trees from the understory to the canopy.
  • Their prolific growth following heavy disturbance can lead to decreased tree regeneration, growth and survival, altering forest structure and ecosystem function, which, in turn, can affect the subsequent recovery of forest. 
  • Its proliferation can alter nutrient cycling within forests and decrease the overall resilience of forests to environmental changes, making ecosystems more susceptible to further disturbances.

Q1) What Is Carbon dioxide?

It is a clear gas composed of one atom of carbon (C) and two atoms of oxygen (O). Carbon dioxide is one of many molecules where carbon is commonly found on the Earth. It does not burn, and in standard temperature and pressure conditions it is stable, inert, and non-toxic.

Source: Lianas threaten Earth’s carbon sinks’