Treetop Biodiversity

Session 1

Treetop Biodiversity – 4 credits PCB4460

Come join us for some extreme botany! This course partners with Gainesville’s Danny Lyons and Canopy Climbers to provide a unique field research experience: we’ll climb and sample botanical diversity in the treetops!

The forest canopy, especially in tropical and subtropical regions, hosts a rich diversity of life. Epiphytic vascular plants (those growing among the branches of larger plants, such as trees) may represent as much as 10% of all plant species on Earth, and non-vascular plants are abundant in the moist and shaded regions of the treetops. Botanists have only begun to catalog canopy diversity in the last few decades, since collection methods have become safer and easier to use. After a literature review and discussion of hypotheses, we’ll design our own vertical transects, then visit three habitats (the hydric hammock, a cypress dome, and a tropical hardwood hammock – locations TBA) to climb trees and survey canopy botanical diversity. Each field trip will be followed by laboratory time to identify and produce voucher specimens of the plants we collect.

Danny Lyons and Canopy Climbers will provide the tree climbing equipment and all climbing and safety training.

Tentative Course Schedule: TBD

Instructors: Christine Davis | 614 Carr Hall |  & Norm Douglas | 618A Carr Hall |

Format: Research projects, lab meetings, and fieldtrips.

Required Text: None

Class Meeting Time (while at UF): M,W,F | Period 6 – 9 (12:50 PM – 4:55 PM) and T,R | Period 6 – 8 (12:50 PM – 3:50 PM)


Expected Costs: $793.80, including lodging, climbing equipment, lab supplies, field trips.

This course has a limited number of seats –apply today to ensure your spot! To apply click this link: here!

Applications were due Friday, November 15th at noon.| Applications are no longer accepted at this time- this course is full.