Monday, February 22, 2016

A new plant species: Sciaphila yakushimensis

Certain plant species known as mycoheterotrophic plants have abandoned photosynthesis and instead live as parasites, exploiting their fungal hosts for nutrients. The lifestyle of these plants has resulted in a loss of xylem vessels and stomata, and a reduction of leaves to scales. They are small and only appear above ground when they are in flower or fruit, so accurate information on their distribution is limited. 

Japanese scientists have now discovered a new species this group on the subtropical Japanese island of Yakushima and named it after the location, Sciaphila yakushimensis.

For the experts: not available yet

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