FP trendJuly 31, 2020, 6:31 p.m. IS
A recent study has shown that the alpine plants in the Hengduan Mountains in southwest China exist much longer than any other alpine plantation on earth. As alpine flora is becoming increasingly vulnerable due to global warming, the study is gaining importance in the area of biodiversity and agriculture.
Researchers at the Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) at the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Field Museum in the United States studied the climatological history of the mountainous region to understand the biological processes that led to the development of life in this alpine region.
According to a press release From the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the research team created several models for “occupying biomes, developing geographical reach and diversifying lineages”
Professor Xing Yaowu from XTBG explained her research as follows: “Our historical reconstructions show that alpine flora developed in the mountain region of Hengduan in the early Oligocene. This is much earlier than the estimated origins of other existing alpine flora. “
The Oligocene is a geological epoch that spanned a long period of around 34 to 23 million years before the present. The study helped researchers measure the rate at which new species were formed in the region and how quickly they spread from one region to another.
The researchers also investigated whether major tectonic events shook the Hengduan Mountains or other places with similar “biodiverse temperate alpine biota” such as the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau and the Himalayas and whether they affected the growth of these alpine plants.
An evolutionary biologist at the Field Museum, Richard Ree, revealed that some plants from the Hengduan Mountains were 30 million years old, which is much earlier than other well-known alpine plants.
The Study results were published in the magazine science.
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