New Guinea has the world’s richest island flora: Study
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The island of New Guinea, the world’s second-largest in area and the largest tropical island, has the globe’s richest collection of plants, a study by the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
- Some 99 scientists from 56 institutions and 19 countries probed online catalogues, repositories of institutions and datasets made by taxonomists to come up with a list of 13,634 plant species of New Guinea and its surrounding islands. The list has been verified by experts.
- However, the university said that more species are waiting to be discovered and another 3,000-4,000 could be added to the list in the years to come.
- The number of plant species that the list enumerates — 13,634 — is 20 per cent more species than Madagascar or Borneo. The plant family with the maximum number of species is orchids while a third of the species are trees. Some 68 per cent of the plants in the list are endemic and not found anywhere else in the world.