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The phoenix tree

Like the mythical bird that rises from the ashes, the andira tree sprouts from the ground after wildfires in the Cerrado (a wooded savanna biome). The leaves, as red as the flames that consume the vegetation, mirror the fire that came before. Understanding how plants react is part of the work of a group seeking ways to restore the diverse features of the biome. “These leaves are the top of a tree that is buried underground,” says biologist Rafael Oliveira.

Image submitted by Rafael Oliveira, a professor at the Biology Institute of the University of Campinas (UNICAMP)

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