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[Ecological Conservation] Taiwan Sphaeropteris Lepifera Faces Catastrophe

Posted by gustav 
[Ecological Conservation] Taiwan Sphaeropteris Lepifera Faces Catastrophe (Chinese Version)

In the Editorial of the 2009 May issue (issue 87) of the Chinese Scientific American, Jia-Wei LI (李家維, trans. temp.) indicates that the brush barrel trees (sphaeropteris lepifera) which are often seen in the mountains in Taiwan, are vastly withering one after another. The catastrophe has been noticed since three years ago, and still deserves great attention by now.

The sick plant is observed to wither from the outer layers of the leaves, and the plant is announced dead when the sprout at core gets sere. The whole process takes no longer than two months. Brush barrel tree is a primitive species of fern, whose ancestors had been existing as a main role in the Carboniferous forest about three hundred million years ago. Fern is rarely observed sick, and the primitive brush barrel trees are more scarcely noticed so, for it contains in itself anti-disease compounds in multitudes. The present status of the disease, according to Research Fellow of Taiwan Forestry Research Institute Chun-Hsu FU (傅春旭, trans. temp.)'s initial diagnosis, may be due to ascus fungi. The fungi hypha penetrates into the chinks between cells of brush barrel trees, exhausting the nutrition of, and then killing the plant. The future status of the brush barrel tree is worrying. No matter with the perspective of the conservation of the ecological systems in Taiwan mountainous forests, or from the basic standpoints of biodiversity value, or with regard to the value of itself being an evolutionary legacy, Jia-Wei LI urges the public to take this issue into serious account.


Chinese Scientific American, issue 87, 2009 May

Further Information:
The Editorial in Chinese Scientific American, issue 87, 2009 May (Chinese)
Taiwan Enviromental Information Center, “Brush Barrel Trees Die of No Obvious Cause, the Living Fossil May Be Endangered” (trans. temp.) 2007/02/01 (Chinese)

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/2009 10:50AM by gustav.