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Press Release 11-057

Stranglers of the Tropics--and Beyond

Rampant woody vines, or lianas, are choking trees, changing tropical and temperate forest ecosystems

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Photo of tree covered in vines and the words Photo Gallery.

Explore the exotic--and sometimes destructive--beauty of lianas in this photo gallery.

Credit: National Science Foundation


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Image of a liana.

What a tangled web lianas weave--in tropical forests, where they're taking over prime real estate.

Credit: Stefan Schnitzer


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Image of Bauhinia, a common tropical liana.

Bauhinia is an all-too-common tropical liana, twining around and competing with forest trees.

Credit: Stefan Schnitzer


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Image of ecologist Stefan Schnitzer who studies lianas or woody vines in tropical forests.

Ecologist Stefan Schnitzer studies lianas, or woody vines, in Panama and other tropical countries.

Credit: Stefan Schnitzer


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Photo of oriental bittersweet vine.

Oriental bittersweet vine is obscuring trees in forests far beyond the tropics.

Credit: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service


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Photo of kudzu, the woody vine that ate the American South.

Kudzu--the woody vine that ate the American South--soon covers everything in its path.

Credit: USGS


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Photo of a seed of an Entada vine, a common tropical liana.

Lovely but deadly: seed of an Entada vine, a liana common throughout the tropics.

Credit: Stefan Schnitzer


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