Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search

 


New plant discovered in Fiji

4 February 2013

New plant discovered in Fiji

Graduate student researcher from IAS, Mereia Katafono conducting field work in the Vago Reserve in the Naitasiri Province, Fiji.

A new plant belonging to the non-vascular group of bryophyte plants was recently discovered in the lowlands of Viti Levu - Fiji’s largest island.

The genus called Cephaloziella has never been previously recorded in Fiji. A plant in this genus was found growing on the lower trunk of a tree fern in the Vago Reserve near Colo-i-Suva in the Naitasiri Province.

Cephaloziella belongs to the family Cephaloziellaceae, which is a group of very small, thread-like liverwort plants.

The discovery of the Cephaloziella liverwort was made by the Institute of Applied Science (IAS) at the University of the South Pacific by the Institute’s graduate student researcher, Mereia Katafono, and field assistants, Manoa Maiwaqa and Saula Mule.

The plant was found while conducting field work for Mereia’s Masters of Science research project on tree trunk-inhabiting bryophytes, a study which is a first of its kind in Fiji and in the region. The plant specimen was then identified by bryologists and external collaborators of the project, Dr Matt Renner of the National Herbarium of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia and Dr Matt von Konrat of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, USA.

Liverworts are one of the three groups of bryophytes which are said to be the earliest green plants to move to land. Very little is known of this group of plants despite their great biological, ecological and evolutionary significance. They play an important role in ecosystem processes such as prevention of soil erosion, nutrient cycling, and forest hydrology. They may also contribute, as much as vascular plants, to species richness in many forests and can form a significant proportion of the total biomass of some plant communities.

Liverworts are also very sensitive to ecological and environmental changes, including anthropogenic disturbances. This has led to increased research in using bryophytes as indicators of long-term climate change and forest health hence supporting their usefulness in the field of conservation science.

This new record adds to the 48 new liverwort (species) records recently published by Pócs et al in 2011.

The finding of this new genus record potentially means more new species records for Fiji, said Mr Marika Tuiwawa, Curator of the South Pacific Regional Herbarium at IAS.

However, he added, that researchers are still determining if the plant represents a new species to science or if it is similar to a species known from New Zealand.

This new finding, according to Mr Tuiwawa, is another step forward in an effort to fill information gaps relating to Pacific bryophyte flora and in developing and strengthening bryophyte research in Fiji.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Royal Society: Review Finds Community Water Fluoridation Safe And Effective

A review of the scientific evidence for and against the efficacy and safety of fluoridation of public water supplies has found that the levels of fluoridation used in New Zealand create no health risks and provide protection against tooth decay. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Croxley Calls Time On NZ Production In Face Of Cheap Imports

Croxley Stationery, whose stationery brands include Olympic, Warwick and Collins, plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand because it has struggled to compete with lower-cost imports in a market where the printed word is giving way to electronic communications. More>>

ALSO:

Prefu Roundup: Forecasts Revised, Surplus Intact

The National government heads into the election with its Budget surplus target broadly intact, delivering a set of economic and fiscal forecasts marginally revised from May to reflect weaker commodity prices and a lower tax take. More>>

ALSO:

Convention Centre: Major New SkyCity Hotel And Laneway For Auckland

Today SKYCITY Entertainment Group Limited revealed plans to build a new hotel and pedestrian laneway of bars, restaurants and boutique shopping on land it owns in the Nelson and Hobson Streets block, expanding the SKYCITY Entertainment Precinct. More>>

ALSO:

Igniting The Spark: Bringing The Digital Enabler To Life

Changing a name is, relatively speaking, the easy part of a re-invention. Changing a culture, getting all the ducks in a row, turning yourself inside-out to become customer-inspired is a much bigger challenge. More>>

ALSO:

Ebola And NZ: Targeted Screening At Airport But Risk Low

The risk of any cases of Ebola in New Zealand remains very low, but health and border authorities are well prepared... anyone arriving in New Zealand who in the last three weeks has visited countries affected will be screened for symptoms of the disease. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Brewer Seeking Crowd-Funding Cancels Shareholders’ Dividends

Shareholders in Renaissance Brewing company, the first business to seek equity through crowd-funding in New Zealand, have cancelled their claim on $147,000 of accumulated earnings “to make Renaissance a more attractive investment opportunity.” More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
Computer Power Plus

Standards New Zealand

Standards New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Sci-Tech
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news