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Imagine a forest that could power its own network of sensors to monitor ecosystem health. Well, this idea is fast turning from sci-fi into reality as more scientits explore how to harvest the metabolic energy from non-animal organisms such as trees.

The latest research by Andreas Mershin’s team at MIT shows that using electrodes made of the same metal gives a current, the electricity comes from a difference in pH between the tree and the soil, a chemical imbalance that is created by the tree’s metabolic processes!

While we are a long way off from powering a light bulb, this is surely an glimpse of a green energy future.

Full article: Newscientist.com

More info: Voltreepower.com

Cover photograph by: Chad Stetson

Do you dig Trees?

If you dig trees and traveling, then super cool, Greenpop’s Trees for Zambia Project is definitely for you! For 3 weeks in July 2012, they will be hosting a reforestation and conservation education project in Livingstone, in partnership with Zambezi Nkuku. In an effort to fight this drastic deforestation, Greenpop will be planting 5,000 to 10,000 trees in Livingstone and spreading education… Read more to find out how to volunteer and/or support this project from home!

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Mother Trees Connect the Forest

It is often said that reality is stranger than fiction. In this video Professor Suzanne Simard shares her latest research regarding forest ecosystems. She reveals that in a forest, trees communicate with each other to ensure resilience and regeneration of the forest as a whole (almost like James Cameron’s film Avatar).

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