World’s oldest plant is 13,000-year-old oak that survives by cloning itself

December 28, 2009 at 8:34 am | Posted in Lifescape | Leave a comment
clipped from www.dailymail.co.uk

The oak is made up of a community of cloned bushes and scientists believe it has managed to survive the extreme effects of climate change by regenerating.

Jurupa Oak

This species of trees usually occur in cooler and wetter regions.
The strange location of the Jurupa was the first clue for the team that
it might have unusual origins.

The team also discovered that the oak didn’t produce any fertile acorns, suggesting an unconventional form of growth.

Jurupa Oak

Clonal growth occurs after a fire, when resprouts form
around the base of burned stems. Over time, wood in the centre
degrades, and new resprouts form after additional fires, leaving behind
the haphazard collection of stems visible today.

Because no new stems
arise from acorns, the organism can only have achieved its current
size – more than 25 yards long – through this method of resprouting.

This literally appears to be a last living remnant of a vanished woody
vegetation that occupied the inland valleys at the height of the Ice
Age

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