Scientists have recently discovered the world’s largest underwater plant in Western Australia. According to a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the plant discovered in the shark bay is thought to extend up to 200 square kilometers (77 square miles). This surface area is slightly larger than the city of Glasgow, about three times the size of Manhattan Island, or about 20,000 rugby fields, Independent Report
The researchers said the discovery was made by accident, after stumbling across a tree during a genetic test. They initially believed the plant to be a vast seagrass, but later found out that it was a plant spread from a single seed. Experts believe that the plant is about 4,500 years old and 180 kilometers long.
– UWA (wanuwanews) June 1, 2022
According to the study, the researchers said that the plant is a single clone of “Poseidonia australis” cigras and the largest known example of a clone in any environment on Earth. It is thought to have formed in shallow water after sharks flooded the Gulf region less than 8,500 years ago.
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I’m talking ABC AustraliaElizabeth Sinclair, an evolutionary biologist and co-author of the study, from the University of Western Australia, said, “When we looked at the data carefully and saw that everything belonged to a plant.”
Furthermore, the researchers said that in addition to the unusual shape of the plant, its ability to sustain itself for thousands of years suggests that it has developed the resilience to recover from an extreme climate event through vegetative growth. They added that the symptoms of reproductive activity of the plant are also “unforgettable” because it does not have many flowers or seeds.
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Experts say the relative abundance of the plant suggests that it has created an elasticity in variable and often extreme conditions that enables it to survive now and in the future.