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Trees have extreme longevity: bristlecone pine


Bristlecone pine / Mark A. Wils.. / LicensePD - Public Domain

Bristlecone pines can survive for thousands of years in harsh environments by shutting down non-essential processes.

Bristlecone pines survive for thousands of years in an environment with little rainfall, few nutrients, cold temperatures and high elevations by shutting down all non-essential processes and focusing energy on long-term survival rather than growth.
"Some of the bristlecone pines found in the White mountains of California are over 4500 years old

"Bristlecone pines receive very little water and food throughout the yearand the trees stand on dolomite, a form of limestone that contains few nutrients.

"To survive on this ascetic diet, Pinus longaeva invests very little energy in growth

"'It shuts down all its non-essential processes,' says Sussman. 'This looks half dead most of the time, perhaps with just one branch that appears to be alive.'" (NewScientist 2010)
About the inspiring organism
Med_800pxbristlecone_ca Pinus longaeva
Pinus longaeva D. K. Bailey

Learn more at
Some organism data provided by: Conifer Database
Organism/taxonomy data provided by:
Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life: 2008 Annual Checklist

Threat Categories LONG_VU IUCN Red List Status: Vulnerable

Bioinspired products and application ideas

Application Ideas: Energy saving method for industries, homes. Business metaphor for long-term survival.

Industrial Sector(s) interested in this strategy: Business

The Doak Lab
Adelia L. Barber
The University of Wyoming
2010. See the world's oldest organisms. NewScientist [Internet],
Learn More at Google Scholar Google Scholar  


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