Wollemia nobilis: Modern Studies of an Ancient Plant
Schneider, J .
Wollemia nobilis: Modern Studies of an Ancient Plant.
Wollemi pine (Wollemia nobilis) was rediscovered in 1994 in an isolated gorge of the Blue Mountains outside Sydney, Australia. The species has been described as a living fossil because the plant closely resembles Araucariaceae fossils from the Cretaceous period and the species is estimated to be more than 100 million years old. Extensive searches of the Blue Mountain region of Australia have uncovered only three populations, with a total of less than 100 mature trees. For the past 12 years, national officials and scientists have not disclosed the geographic location in order to prevent illegal poaching and accidental damage to the wild population through human visitations. More recently, clonal propagation of Wollemi has successfully produced trees for sale in the horticultural industry with proceeds going to plant conservation efforts worldwide. The UBC Botanic Garden has a specimen of directly propagated from the Wollemi known as “King Bill” in its collections. The tree, “Wee Billy” is about 14 feet tall and is the subject of several research projects that also make use of a collection of smaller Wollemi clones of undetermined heritage. While the Wollemi’s rare occurrence and potential threats make it one of the most endangered species in the world, the species also represents perhaps the only biological system of its kind for researching interdisciplinary aspects of adaptation biology, ecological interactions and development of a horticultural model for an endangered species.
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1 - Cultivaris, San Diego, CA, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Date: Monday, July 28th, 2008
Time: 9:30 AM