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Bryophytes back from the dead

  1. May 28, 2013 #1

    jim mcnamara

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    Bryophytes "back from the "dead"


    The paper will appear in the Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences in a few days.

    Glaciers laid down during the Little Ice age (~400 years ago) have been retreating. The retreat revealed non-vascular plants called Bryophytes (mosses, liverworts, and hornworts) that had been frozen. In the lab the long dormant plants began growing again.

    The authors indicated that this "back from the dead trick" may provide answers to how ecosystems can bounce back after periods of glaciation.

  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2013 #2


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    Fascinating, so these specific plants don't exist elsewhere. They apparently died out where they weren't covered by ice, or they only grew in the area covered by the glacier?
  4. Jun 8, 2013 #3


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    i heard the lead author Catherine La Farge, on radio program Science Friday. She indicated that they are not newly discovered species; they are similar to populations of bryophytes found outside of the glacier in that region today.
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