The cimarrons of Portugal are one of the world’s largest, and the trees themselves are a rare beauty.
Now, researchers have discovered that the trees can survive even massive tree falls and even giant rainstorms without losing their massive growth rings.
In a study published in the journal Nature Communications, researchers led by Maria Cimarron, a biologist at the University of Lisbon, measured the rings of giant cimaron creeks, which are the biggest and longest structures in the world.
They found that they could survive even when the creekers were nearly crushed by a massive, heavy tree.
“There are huge, very deep, dense, thick, and strong growth rings in all cimarons in Portugal, so even when they are completely crushed by trees they still have some rings that could be able to withstand the impact,” said Cimarion.
She added that they are similar to the rings that help support the trees of the wild:”There is also a long, thick growth ring around the crown that extends all the way down to the base of the trunk, which we also found to be a very good survival factor for the tree,” Cimaron said.
Scientists have long been interested in how trees are able to survive huge trees like these cimarros, because they often have very large branches.
But before, scientists thought that the rings were only responsible for support of the tree.
But now, Cimarons study shows that the cork growth rings can also be used as a means to maintain the structure.
“The growth rings provide a very stable structure that allows the tree to sustain itself in a very bad case of a big tree,” said the study’s senior author, Carlos Pereira.
The scientists say that even though they are often smaller than trees in the wild, these trees have long-lasting rings that can survive extreme environmental conditions.
The researchers suggest that these rings could help protect the tree from falling trees.
“We think that the growth rings may help prevent the tree or any other tree from collapsing because the tree can survive such extreme events without losing its growth rings,” Pereira said.