Most Plant Species in the World
by John C. Cannon on September 10, 2020
A study in the journal Nature recently stated that the island of Papua has more plant species than any other island on Earth.
The island of Papua is the largest tropical island in the world, or the second largest island in the world after Greenland, which due to the geological process of its formation, has a very unique biodiversity.
The authors have identified 13,634 plant species on the island of Papua, which is nearly 2,000 times more than the island of Madagascar.
The researchers say that listing these species is an important step in protecting them from the threat of changing landscapes.
The biodiversity, culture and landscape of the island of Papua (New Guinea) have long inspired leading scientists, from Alfred Russel Wallace to Jared Diamond. Papua is the largest island in the tropics and the second largest in the world after Greenland, that’s what makes this island has a variety of species that live in it.
The islands located in these two countries (Indonesia in the west, Papua New Guinea in the east), are located halfway between the Asian mainland, Australia and the Oceanic continent of Oceania. Papua, the land rises to a height of more than 4,000 meters, with eternal ice glaciers at the top. According to Avibase, a global bird database, on this island there are 843 species of birds that inhabit this island.
“If you fly by helicopter, you’ll find a big canyon, then a high mountain, then another big canyon and then another mountain,” explains Mason Campbell, a botanist and researcher at James Cook University in Cairns, Australia.
With such extraordinary landscapes, it is not surprising that researchers, as published in the Journal of Nature, August 5, 2020, confirm that Papua is the richest island with plant biodiversity on earth.
The authors list 13,634 plant species on the island, which is nearly 2,000 times more than Madagascar, the second most vegetated island on the planet. However, along with the high diversity of floristics, there are ironic things faced by indigenous people on the island of Papua.
Overall, the island’s diverse human population, in both parts of the country, is among the poorest in the world. School and literacy rates are low with a life expectancy of only around 64 years (compared to most countries in Western Europe, where life expectancy is more than 80 years).
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