Newly Discovered: Previously Unknown Plant Species

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#1
Perhaps not exactly newly discovered but the first proper scientific analysis.

Scientists discover carnivorous plant using sticky catapulting tentacles
November 22nd, 2012 in Biology / Plants & Animals

The study found the snap-tentacle movement is not repeatable, possibly due to fracturing epidermal cells, and with a growing season of about four months the plant develops new leaves every three to four days. Credit: sunphlo

The first detailed analysis of a WA native carnivorous plant by a group of German scientists has confirmed the presence of a unique mechanism for trapping prey.

Researchers from the University of Freiburg studied the sundew Drosera glanduligera, located in the South West, and its method of prey capture through touch-sensitive snap tentacles.

The plant grows as a rosette on the ground and catches predominantly non-flying arthropods with spoon-shaped trap leaves which feature glue-tentacles towards the centre of the leaf and 12–18 marginal snap tentacles.
University of Freiburg Plant Biomechanics Group researcher Simon Poppinga says the team had to use plants cultivated in Germany to carry out the experiment.

"We wanted to verify experimentally that snap-tentacles play an active role in prey capture by catapulting the prey onto the deadly trap, and to gain a deeper knowledge on how theses tentacles can move so fast (up to 75 milliseconds),"he says.

"It is still up to future studies to record snap-tentacle action in the natural habitat and to elucidate the actual advantage for having snap-tentacles."
The study confirmed that the trap system utilised by Drosera glanduligera is more complex than the mechanism used by other Drosera species.

Drosera glanduligera's mechanism involves animals that touch a snap-tentacle trigger being catapulted onto the central sticky part of the leaf and then digested as opposed to other Drosera plants which rely on stickiness alone to catch prey.

The study found the snap-tentacle movement is not repeatable, possibly due to fracturing epidermal cells, and with a growing season of about four months the plant develops new leaves every three to four days.
Mr Poppinga says the Drosera glanduligera is unique in having an active catapult-flypaper trap – something that no other plant possesses.

"In our experiments we also witnessed that snap-tentacles moved the fastest on healthy plants and under high illumination and temperature," he says.

"The fast motion is under tight physiological control and depends on the vigour of the plant, hence it is also temperature-dependent."
He says this is also the case for all other carnivorous plants that utilise active nastic motions, including the Venus Flytrap.

The researcher who cultivated the plant, Siegfried Hartmeyer, says the study determined the snap-tentacles did not require the storage and release of elastic energy to perform their motion, but is small enough to be actuated hydraulically.

"As a counter-example, the Venus Flytrap uses a snap-buckling instability to perform its fast shutting (motion)," he says.

The study also suggested further areas of research including using electrophysiology to explain how the tentacles mechanical response is triggered as well as the character of the tentacle bending.

Provided by Science Network WA

"Scientists discover carnivorous plant using sticky catapulting tentacles." November 22nd, 2012.
http://phys.org/news/2012-11-scientists ... acles.html
 
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Welsh Bristle-moss: New species found near Dryslwyn Castle

The Countryside Council for Wales said Welsh Bristle-moss might have evolved from a genetically similar moss
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-sout ... s-21043636

A new species of moss has been found growing on 10 maple trees in a Carmarthenshire car park, but experts are in two minds about its origins.

Welsh Bristle-moss was discovered near Dryslwyn Castle, close to Llandeilo, by the Countryside Council for Wales.

It said it might have evolved from a genetically similar moss.

But it could be an undiscovered species that was imported from the Continent on maples used to landscape the car park in the 1990s.

There are about 900 species of moss in Britain and 587 of those are found in Wales.

The Welsh Bristle-moss was discovered during a survey which is recording mosses growing on trees in south Wales.

Continue reading the main story

Start Quote

This is a high-point in our regular work of recording mosses which grow on trees in south Wales”

Sam Bosanquet
CCW moss ecologist
Experts said the moss had a unique combination of distinctive traits. It differed from related mosses because of its round-tipped leaf tips and flat leaf edges.

'Vigilant'
Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) moss ecologist Sam Bosanquet, who made the new find, said: "Welsh Bristle-moss highlights the need to be ever vigilant and open-minded, even when looking at plants in mundane places like car parks.

"This is a high-point in our regular work of recording mosses which grow on trees in south Wales.

"Over the last decade, we have also discovered three mosses that had not previously been found in Wales and which are more typical of continental Europe.

Mr Bosanquet said he had been recording mosses for 15 years and had found 25 new species never before found in Wales, but which had been found in England and Scotland.

"Now that the species has been recorded, I hope that more research will determine whether the moss is extending its range to other areas of the county and beyond," said Mr Bosanquet.
 
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New species of metal-munching plant found in Philippines

Scientists in the Philippines have discovered a plant that can absorb large amounts of metal without itself being poisoned, a species called the Rinorea niccolifera, that can be used to clean up polluted soils and harvest commercially viable metals.

The plant is one of only 450 species, known as hyperaccumulator plants, of 300,000 known vascular plants that can absorb significant amounts of metal though their roots.

The lead researcher and author of a new study on the plant, Professor Edwino Fernando, from the University of the Philippines, said the leaves of the Rinorea niccolifera can absorb up to 18,000 parts per million of nickel, 1,000 times more than can be safely absorbed by any other known plant.

Fernando along with Dr. Marilyn Quimado and their team laid out the details of their discovery in the open access journal PhytoKeys.

“The new species was discovered on the western part of Luzon Island in the Philippines, an area known for soils rich in heavy metals,” the researchers said in a press release announcing their discovery.

As well as being an exciting new scientific discovery, the plant also has important environmental credentials. Rinorea niccolifera can remove large amounts of dangerous metallic metals from polluted ecosystems, and subsequently it is likely to find supporters in the mining industry. Not only can the plants absorb large amounts of nickel, they can also then be harvested for the metal they have absorbed.

"Hyperaccumulator plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, 'phytoremediation' and 'phytomining',” Augustine Doronila, of the University of Melbourne, who co-authored the study, said.

‘Phytoremediation’ is a term used to describe how hyperaccumulator plants remove heavy metals from contaminated soils.

‘Phytomining’ refers to the process where hyperaccumulator plants are used to grow and harvest commercially viable metals in plant shoots from metal rich soils.
http://rt.com/news/158520-new-species-metal-plant/
 
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#7
A new plant species has been hailed as the first to be "discovered over Facebook" after a photo posted by an amateur researcher was spotted by scientists on the social media network.

The huge carnivorous plant, which can grow up to one-and-a-half metres in length, was identified by researchers after a photo of it was uploaded by a botanical enthusiast in Brazil, the Botanical State Collection in Munich,Germany, announced on Friday.

Amateur researcher Reginaldo Vasconcelos first photographed the sundew plant in a jungle on a mountain top in Minas Gerais, southeastern Brazil, in 2013, and posted it on his Facebook page.

Experts identified the plant as a new species, since named as “drosera magnifica“, or magnificent sundew, describing it as the second-largest carnivorous plant in the Americas, according to research published in the journal Phytotaxa.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...New-plant-species-discovered-on-Facebook.html
 
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A new sweet flower of Scotland.

Scientists have discovered a brand new flower in Shetland.

It is a beauty.

A delicate golden bell of a flower, its throat flecked with tiny, blood-red spots - colours echoing the Lion Rampant.

It is a discreet beauty, though. Each flower is only slightly larger than a 50p piece.

Discreet and unique, because this is a new flower of Scotland. Or, more precisely, Shetland.


Image captionEach flower is slightly larger than a 50p piece
The flower was discovered by a team from Stirling's department of biological and environmental sciences led by post-doctoral researcher Dr Violeta Simon-Porcar, working with associate professor Dr Mario Vallejo-Marin at Stirling and Dr James Higgins at Leicester University. ...

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-40935666?utm_source=&utm_medium=&utm_campaign=
 
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#11
Hidden in plain sight - that's how researchers describe their discovery of a new genus of large forest tree commonly found, yet previously scientifically unknown, in the tropical Andes.

Researchers from the Smithsonian and Wake Forest University detailed their findings in a study just released in the journal PhytoKeys.

Named Incadendron esseri (literally "Esser's tree of the Inca"), the tree is a new genus and species commonly found along an ancient Inca path in Peru, the Trocha Unión. Its association with the land of the Inca empire inspired its scientific name.

So how could a canopy tree stretching up to 100 feet tall and spanning nearly two feet in diameter go undetected until now?

"Incadendron tells us a lot about how little we understand life on our planet. Here is a tree that ranges from southern Peru to Ecuador, that is abundant on the landscape, and yet it was unknown. Finding this tree isn't like finding another species of oak or another species of hickory—it's like finding oak or hickory in the first place," said Miles Silman, the Andrew Sabin Family Foundation Presidential Chair in Conservation Biology at Wake Forest.

"This tree perplexed researchers for several years before being named as new. It just goes to show that so much biodiversity is unknown and that obvious new species are awaiting discovery everywhere - in remote ecological plots, as well as in our own backyards," said Kenneth Wurdack, a botanist with the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. ...

https://phys.org/news/2017-09-hidden-inca-treasure-remarkable-tree.html
 
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#12
Kew highlights new plant and and fungi discovweies.

A new bug-eating pitcher plant, an edible “hedgehog” mushroom and a weird species living in a waterfall are among the new plants and fungi found this year.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, is highlighting some of its top discoveries for 2018, from among the scores of species of plants and fungi found in places ranging from the mountainsides of the Andes to Asian black markets. Kew and its partners have found some 128 vascular plants and 44 species of fungi around the world this year, many of which are already under threat of extinction just as they have been recorded for the first time.

The plant experts have selected some of their highlights, including a “showy” orchid first found on the black market in Laos, a new wild relative of the commercial Allspice tree and two types of morning glories from Bolivia. The biggest new discovery is an 80ft (24m) tree from Guinea, which is endangered by the clearance of tiny remnants of rainforest among the hills of the coastal plain where it dominates the canopy.

https://www.irishexaminer.com/break...s-among-new-species-found-in-2018-893520.html
 
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