Espreso. Global

Evidence of warming: Ukrainian scientists discover new plant species near Vernadsky Research Base

28 March, 2024 Thursday
17:40

Scientists have discovered a species of plant near the Vernadsky Research Base that has never been found there before. This may be another indication of warming in the West Antarctic

The National Antarctic Scientific Center reported this on March 28.

It is the southern liverwort Marchantia berteroana.

The plant was discovered by Ivan Parnikoza, a member of the seasonal expedition and head of the Biology and Ecology Department of the National Academy of Sciences, on the northeastern cape of Darboux Island. This location is known from archival sources: in the 1980s, British researchers studied rare moss species here and described the local vegetation in detail. Next to the mosses the researcher was looking for, he found large green areas of a new species that were obviously not there during the British expedition.

"We have the fact that a new plant species has penetrated the Vernadsky Base neighborhood. Later, Ukrainian biologists also found this liverwort on Booth Island, the northernmost island in our region of the Argentine Islands, the Kyiv Peninsula," the scientists said.

"The researchers note that the appearance of the new species may be another confirmation of warming in the region. After all, liverworts are quite thermophilic and used to grow in much more favorable regions of the Antarctic marine environment. If they have now spread to the Vernadsky area, then conditions have also become better for them here," the scientific institution added.

They also noted that in Ukraine, one can see a relative of the southern Marchantia - Marchantia polymorpha. However, its presence in the Antarctic has not yet been confirmed.

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