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These litter-basket ferns - so-called because the basket-shaped rosette of long fronds trap falling twigs and leaf litter - can be up to 2m in diameter, and large ferns can contain substantial quantities of organic matter.At the base of the fern is a sponge-like root mass that soaks up rain water and absorbs nutrients released from the decaying litter.In Borneo, the rainforest canopy has approximately 50 Asplenium nidus per hectare. They grow on tree trunks and branches at heights of up to 60m above the ground.In one study, several large bird’s nest ferns were removed intact from the canopy and lowered to the ground using winches, ropes and pulleys, and were found to weight between 170 and 200kg.


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