On Kunashir have discovered a new species of unusual plants

On Kunashir have discovered a new species of unusual plants

Diversity of cryptogamic species this island of the Kuril ridge is in first place in Russia.


Biologists from the Botanical garden-Institute, far Eastern branch of RAS and Central Siberian Botanical garden, Siberian branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in August-September of 2018 made an expedition to remote areas of the island Kunashir (Big Kuril ridge). As a result, they managed to find there had not observed neither on the island nor in Russia in General cryptogamic species. About what is happening is the website of the state reserve “Kuril”.

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Cryptogamic (tenebrionoid) biota we call plants and rasteniene reproducing organisms, usually spores. This includes: mosses, liverworts, lichens, fungi, and surface algae. In contrast to the more familiar to us a complex of plants, cryptogamic can live on almost any substrates, because little demanding on the soil. Until now it was believed that the cryptogamic biota of the South Kuril Islands consists of 30-40 species, but the researchers before the work begins much doubt it. Now compiled a more complete list. They have 230 species of liverworts, and 400 species of mosses. This is more than is known for most other regions of Russia — despite the fact that they are much larger than the small Kunashir.

During the last expedition found not only representatives of already known species, but also several not previously encountered in our country.

In particular, for example, galeriu aquifolium moss (Hookeria acutifolia), a subtropical body, still considered not “coming” to the North of Japan. Now Kunashir — the most Northern point where it managed to secure in the Eastern hemisphere.

The researchers also found several other types of cryptogamic biota that do not correspond to available data on the occurrence, but have not yet called them, wanting first to re-check in species discoveries through research in the laboratory.

The study of mosses and liverworts in the East and North of our country is becoming increasingly important. Mosses and liverworts may exist where other plants do not appear — on the very shallow soils with almost no organic matter. At the same time they are much stronger than more complicated plants slow down erosion in such places and do not allow carbon dioxide from soils to enter the environment. Therefore, from understanding the limits of their adaptability to conditions of global warming depend on correct forecasts of its speed, required for advance planning of response to the occurring in nature processes.