The flora of tucked away places have a secret to tell

1 Dec 2011

At www.physorg.com/print241878655.html we learn that botanical researchers from Europe and China are looking at remote regions of China to try and discover plants, shrubs and trees that may have survived the Ice Ages - in refugia. One such place they have targeted is in the SW of China, at the eastern edge of the Tibetan Plateau and close to the border with Burma - the Hengduan Mountains. Apparently, in China a large number of ancient flora still exist - with lineage going back millions of years ago. They are authentic living fossils we are told - somewhat like the Gingko monkey puzzle tree. It seems that 15 million years ago, before the succession of Ice Ages, the abundance of species was common across a large part of the northern hemisphere, but in most places it has not survived - except in the subtropical mountains of southern China (published in the Journal of Biogeography).