UNBC research team discovers 2,400 new local plant species
Ancient Forest Provincial Park east of Prince George | Handout photo
Turns out, there’s more life growing in our own backyards than what we’ve been led to believe.
After researching deep into the trails of the Ancient Forest, 115 kilometres east of Prince George, a team from UNBC has discovered more than 2,400 new plant species.
Team member and UNBC Professor Dr. Darwyn Coxson says these range from mosses, to ferns, to other vascular plants, each playing a key role in developing the current regional ecosystem.
“This gives a big richness in biodiversity partly because they go from the top of the valley down to the Fraser River. However, the area where the ancient cedars grow is really special because the deep winter snowpack results in a lot of springs that create really rich soils that really helps plants grow.”
He explains the plants have been able to thrive as a result of the weather activity, adding sometimes it take a few thousand years for these species to fully flourish.
“The public should gain a better appreciation of just how wonderful our very own backyard here is in British Columbia. We used to think you had to go to the tropics if you wanted to make new discoveries about biodiversity in plants, but inland rainforests in our own backyard is just as special.”
Dr. Coxson also thanks the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation for allowing them to conduct this three-year long project on their territory.
A special presentation is taking place at UNBC this Friday to unveil and provide more information on the new plant species.
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