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Photographer's Note

Vegetation in highland tropics is much less in total biomass and species diversity compared to in lowland area. As shown in this picture of Papua highland, only few tree species are observed, some shrubs, but mostly ferns and grasses.

Redish and yellowish colors are not flowers, they are the colors of young leaves. So this autumn-like colors can be seen all-year round in this highland. I am not sure at this point, whether low vegetation coverage in this region is mainly due to cooler air temperature or because of low soil fertility. Fern in the tropics can be used as indicator of low soil pH, means lower soil nutrients availability to plants.

At background is the Baliem Valley, slightly foggy at time this picture was taken.

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Additional Photos by Benyamin Lakitan (blakitan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 354 W: 66 N: 301] (1311)
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