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The tree that bleeds… metal?


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Heavy metals like nickel and zinc are usually the last thing that plants want to grow next to in high concentrations.

But a specialised group, known as hyperaccumulators, have evolved to take up the normally toxic metals into their stems, leaves and even seeds.

Researchers have been studying Pycnandra acuminata in particular – a tree that grows on the island of New Caledonia in the south Pacific.

They think it may use the nickel to defend against insects.

Its latex has an unusual blue-green colour as it contains up to 25% nickel.

"Pycnandra acuminata is a large (up to 20m tall) rare rainforest tree, restricted to remaining patches of rainforest in New Caledonia," says Dr Antony van der Ent, a researcher at the University of Queensland who has been studying the tree.

read more: https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-45398434

Posted by on Sep 6 2018. Filed under Environmental livelihood, News at Now, News From Roots. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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