The oldest alpine plant region on Earth, in the Hengduan Mountains of southwest China, dates back more than 30 million years, scientists say. US and Chinese researchers say the alpine flora of the Hengduan Mountains has continuously existed far longer than any other alpine flora on Earth. The diversity of plants in the region today can be traced back to newly-formed mountain ranges 30 million years ago and later monsoons, plant DNA reveals. When the Indian tectonic plate slammed into Asia around 40 million years ago, the effect on biodiversity was like ‘pouring over jet fuel’, due to new weather conditions. The mountain’s alpine community contains distinctive communities adapted to stressful environmental conditions, including past climate changes, scientists say. Rhododendron nivale subsp. boreale at Chinese shrubland. The alpine biome harbours distinctive communities adapted to stressful environmental conditions RELATED ARTICLES Previous 1 Next World’s oldest trees are NOT immortal but have ways to… Increase in ‘invasive’ plants and animal species as a result… Amazing satellite imagery shows giant dust plume known as… Snow on the Italian Alps turns PINK due to a harmless algae… Share this article Share 44 shares ‘Our historical reconstructions indicate that an alpine flora had emerged in the Hengduan Mountains… Read full this story
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