Volcanism – an underestimated driver of evolution on oceanic islands

Woody plants are unusually common on oceanic islands. Scientists at the University of Bayreuth, together with research partners in Italy, Great Britain, Norway and Spain, have now discovered a new explanation for this phenomenon: With the lignification of biomass, many plant species native to oceanic islands have protected themselves from the impact of frequent volcanic eruptions, during which large areas are covered with huge amounts of ash. Woody plants can survive even in ash layers of up to half a metre. Using the example of the Canary Island of La Palma, the European team presents its explanatory approach in the journal „npf biodiversity“.

Quelle: IDW Informationsdienst Wissenschaft