Точка лесного полога

Работая в дождевом тропическом лесу низменной части Коста-Рики, я изобрел приспособление, с помощью которого можно обойти эти затруднения; в результате моим коллегам и мне удалось исследовать экологию полога с беспрецедентной «разрешающей способностью». Мы закрепили своего рода паутину из тросов в 30 м над землей между тремя высокими деревьями, господствовавшими нал окружающим лесом. При помощи зажимов и блоков можно было подниматься на эту конструкцию по скалолазному тросу, двигаться по ней в горизонтальном направлении и спускаться в любую точку лесного полога.

Наш подход имеет много общего с приемами исследователей, работавших в этой области ранее. В своей книге «Натуралист в гвианском лесу» (HingstonR.W.G. «А Naturalist in the Guiana Forest») Р.Хингстон описывает один из таких способов. В 1929 г. во время экспедиции в Южной Америке он вместе со своими коллегами из Оксфордского университета использовал морскую гарпунную пушку для того, чтобы выстреливать канат, по которому можно было бы подниматься в кроны деревьев. Однако этот канат безнадежным образом запутывался среди лиан — деревянистых вьющихся растений, оплетающих деревья. Потерпев неудачу, Хингстон нанял туземцев- верхолазов, чтобы те поднялись в полог непосредственно по стволам деревьев и соорудили там платформы для наблюдений. Однако научные результаты такого подхода были неутешительными. Хингстон делает следующий вывод: «Если верхние области леса действительно заслуживают систематического изучения, эта работа должна проводиться с помощью более совершенного оборудования».

С тех пор во многих странах натуралисты неоднократно устраивали разнообразные фиксированные «наблюдательные посты» в верхней зоне дождевого леса. Это были сооружения типа башен или платформ, на которые нужно было подниматься при помощи веревочных лестниц, монтажных поясов или надеваемых на ноги «кошек» наподобие тех, которыми пользуются для лазания по телеграфным столбам. Среди наиболее интересных конструкций можно назвать площадку в кроне дерева на 40-метровой высоте, которую построил в 1960 г. Г. Мак-Клур, работавший с экспедицией Армейского научно-исследовательского медицинского института Уолтер Рид в дождевом лесу окрестностей Куала-Лумпур. Однако попытки изучать сообщества лесного полога с неподвижных наблюдательных пунктов вообще занятие неблагодарное — ведь соседние деревья могут быть заселены совершен

но иными видами, которые останутся недоступными для наблюдателя с ограниченного пространства площадки.

 

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