A tree that survived the Jurassic period is now endangered

Scientists say that Araucaria araucana, generally generally known as the monkey puzzle tree, is now endangered and faces the danger of extinction. Recognized to be one of the crucial resilient species, the plant outlived the Jurassic period, over 14 million years in the past.

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In line with the IUCN pink checklist, the monkey puzzle tree is at present endangered each within the wild and on farms. The plant is cultivated in farms and gardens world wide because of its magnificence. Moreover, the truth that it’s evergreen makes it a lovely selection for backyard decorations.

Associated: Dinosaur extinction brought about sudden adjustments in vegetation and fruits

Right now, the tree solely grows on the slopes of Patagonia’s volcanoes in Chile and Argentina. Nevertheless, its existence has confronted loads of challenges within the current previous. Wildfires, overgrazing and land clearances led to a lower in its numbers. Moreover, its seeds are a delicacy for endemic species of birds, significantly the austral parakeet. The parakeets raid timber in a flock of about 15 birds in winter, however their numbers on one tree can simply swell to over 100.

Whereas the parakeets have been fairly heavy on the timber, in addition they assist in their survival. The birds feed on its nuts, however in return, they unfold its seed to new grounds. A current examine in Patagonia discovered that the birds act as a buffer between the timber and the threats posed by people. Among the many threats famous within the examine embody overharvesting of the nuts.

The parrots solely eat the nuts from the tree tops, partially eradicating the coat on the seeds. This helps the seeds germinate quicker. However, people harvest each the nuts and seeds, killing the expansion cycle of the pant.

“They play an vital position within the regeneration of the araucaria forests because the partially eaten seeds they go away on the bottom aren’t chosen by seed collectors, and so they retain their germination potential,” defined Gabriela Gleiser and Karina Speziale, researchers at Argentina’s Biodiversity and Setting Analysis Institute on the Nationwide College of Comahue.

Not solely with animals, they’re a supply of meals for the Indigenous Mapuche folks in Chile and Argentina. The Mapuche life-style will depend on the monkey puzzletree simply as a lot because the parakeets. Now, these timber are protected by regulation throughout the Patagonia in hopes that they are going to proceed to outlive.

By way of CNN

Lead picture through Pixabay

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