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Identifying tree roots in the caves of Quintana Roo, Mexico as a step toward ecological insights and improved conservation. 

Plants, People, Planet

Adams, R. E., Iliffe, T. M., & West, J. B.

2020

Plants, People, Planet

2(2)

133-139

Caves in Quintana Roo, Mexico are known for spectacular calcite formations, blue water, and their significance in Mayan culture. A fascinating feature of these caves is the tree roots that emerge from ceilings, walls, and floors. Little is known about these incredible natural structures which form a key part of the ecosystem, linking to the forests above. This work documents and identifies the species that use this deep rooting strategy as well as expands our understanding of the relationships between the surface and subterranean and the implications for the management and conservation of these natural structures and their resources.

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Support

The Liana Ecology Project is supported by Marquette University and funded in part by the National Science Foundation.