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Researchers Revived Centuries-Old Frozen Plants Called Bryophytes from Teardrop Glacier

Researchers at the University of Alberta announced that the plants which were frozen centuries ago were sprouting with new growth.

May 28, 2013 17:32 IST
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Researchers at the University of Alberta announced that the plants which were frozen centuries ago were sprouting with new growth. Samples of the bryophytes, 400-year-old plants bloomed under certain laboratory conditions. Researchers declared that this reflected the recovery of ecosystems from the cyclic long periods of ice coverage of the Earth.

The group of researchers was making exploration in area around the Teardrop Glacier which is situated in Canadian Arctic. This region’s glaciers are receding at a rapid pace (around 3-4 m annually) since 2004. This is also the place where it is said that the light of daytime has not reached since Little Ice Age, the widespread cooling which took place from 1550 AD to 1850 AD.

The lead author of the study, Catherine La Farge explained that huge populations of bryophytes were observed from beneath the glacier which reflected a greenish tinge.

Bryophytes are very different from land plants. These plants do not have any vascular tissue. This means that these plants can survive without drying up even in the long Arctic winters. Eventually, these plants grow in warmer times.

The researchers observed new growth of the green lateral branches on the stems of the plant. A lot of other species were observed in the Teardrop Glacier and almost all these are completely unknown to science.

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