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The 'Biggest Plant on Earth' Discovered in Australia

Daily-EarthLife
Daily-EarthLife
In Shark Bay off the west coast of Australia, scientists have discovered what they believe to be the largest plant on Earth.
'The Guardian' reports that the species, Posidonia australis, is commonly found throughout the southern coastlines of Australia.
'The Guardian' reports that the species, Posidonia australis, is commonly found throughout the southern coastlines of Australia.
However, scientists were puzzled when they looked for genetic differences between samples that were as much as 111 miles apart.
Samples taken from various sites suggest there were not multiple specimens of Posidonia australis but a
single plant spanning just over three times the size of Manhattan.
According to Jane Edgeloe, a student researcher at the University of Western Australia, about
18,000 genetic markers were examined.
"The existing 200 square km of ribbon weed meadows appear to have expanded from a single, colonizing seedling." Jane Edgeloe, student researcher at the University of Western Australia, via 'The Guardian'.
Scientists believe that single seed originated about 4,500 years ago and remained relatively undisturbed
as it spread and grew over time.
The plant now forms a vast underground meadow which a huge array of marine animals call home, including turtles, dolphins, crabs and fish.
According to Edith Cowan University's Kathryn McMahon, previous genetic studies of other seagrasses
suggest the plants can live up to 100,000 years.
"They have a versatile growth pattern which contributes to this long life span." Jane Edgeloe, student researcher at the University of Western Australia, via 'The Guardian'

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