Scientists at Royal Botanic Gardens Identify 74 New Plant and 15 Fungi Species

Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens have identified 74 new plant species and 15 new fungi in the past year. These discoveries include species found in extreme environments such as the peak of an extinct volcano and the cold surfaces of Antarctic rocks. Among these are three new species of Antarctic fungi, a subterranean palm, and a potentially carnivorous plant from Mozambique. Professor Mark Chase, who named one of the new Australian species, highlights the wonder of discovering new life forms and the importance of genetic studies in identifying new species. However, there is concern that some newly found species are already on the brink of extinction due to their limited habitats and human encroachment.

  • 74 new plant species and 15 new fungi were identified last year by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens.
  • Discoveries were made in extreme environments, such as the top of a volcano and Antarctic rocks.
  • New species include three types of Antarctic fungi, an underground palm, a high-altitude orchid, and a possible carnivorous plant from Mozambique.
  • Professor Mark Chase was involved in naming one of the new species from Australia.
  • Some species were known locally but had not been recognized scientifically.
  • Nine new species of wild tobaccos were discovered in Australia, some in national parks and others in unprotected areas.
  • Genetic studies played a crucial role in confirming the distinctiveness of the new species.
  • There is a conservation concern as many of the new species are found in single localities, which are not always protected.

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