New Guinea would be the island with the greatest diversity of plant species in the world - The Point

A tank without end. It is a ranking of any particular of which the New Guinea just take the head. According to a study published in the journal Nature, detailed

New Guinea would be the island with the greatest diversity of plant species in the world - The Point

A tank without end. It is a ranking of any particular of which the New Guinea just take the head. According to a study published in the journal Nature, detailed by The Guardian, this island located in the Pacific ocean is now considered to be the archipelago with the largest plant diversity. In New Guinea, there are more than 13 500 species of different plants. She is way ahead of Madagascar, which held the previous record, with over 19 % of species in addition.

The study will be mobilized 99 botanists members from 56 different institutions spread across 19 countries. They have analyzed thousands of samples, the oldest of which have been harvested as early as the Seventeenth century. But New Guinea should still give some trouble to the specialists of the plant world. According to the authors of the study, more than 4,000 new species of plants could be discovered in the next 50 years on the island. "It is a paradise that is full of life, rejoices with the Guardian, a biologist, Rodrigo Cámara-Leret of the university of Zurich, one of the main authors of the paper.

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An environment conducive to biodiversity

The environment of New Guinea, is conducive to the development of biodiversity. It is also the third largest island in the world in terms of area. It is divided between indonesian provinces of papua and west Papua, as well as the independent State of Papua New Guinea. "This allows the development of several types of habitats, such as mangroves, swamp forests, tropical forests, but also the mountain forests, which have high levels of endemism," stresses Rodrigo Cámara-Leret. Mountains, with altitudes of up to 5,000 metres, are scattered on all the territory.

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" And then all the way to the top, just below the growth limits of the plants, are these alpine meadows. This habitat is simply unique in South-East Asia and feature of the New Guinea ", continues the researcher. New Guinea is the playground of dreamed for the botanists of the whole world : a great number of species may not be observed on this island. However, the expeditions are too sporadic and it is almost impossible today to assess, annually, the number of plants that grow on site. Before the study published in Nature, their number was estimated at between 9 000 and 25 000.

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Updated Date: 05 August 2020, 14:33

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