Tuesday, October 6 2015

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer

Sea monster is world's oldest living thing

Current decline suggests they may no longer be able to adapt to the unprecedented rate of global climate change


By: University of Western Australia

Feb. 2, 2012 - It's big, it's old and it lives under the sea and now an international research collaboration with The University of Western Australia's Ocean's Institute has confirmed an ancient seagrass to hold the secrets of the oldest living organism on earth.

Because ancient giant Posidonia oceanica reproduces asexually generating clones of itself, a single organism has been found to span up to 15 kilometres wide, reaching more than 6,000 metric tonnes in mass and may well be more than 100,000 years old.

"Clonal organisms have an extraordinary capacity to transmit only ‘highly competent' genomes, through generations, with potentially no end," Director of UWA's Oceans' Institute Winthrop Professor Carlos Duarte said.

Researchers analysed 40 meadows across 3,500 kilometres of the Mediterranean sea. Computer models helped demonstrate that the clonal spread mode of Posidonia oceanica, which as all other seagrasses can reproduce both sexually and asexually, allows them to spread and maintain highly-competent clones over millennia, whereas even the most competent genotypes of organisms that can only reproduce sexually are lost at every generation.

"Understanding why those particular genomes have been so adaptable to a broad range of environmental conditions for so long is the key to some interesting future research," Professor Duarte said.

Seagrasses are the foundation of key coastal ecosystems but have waned globally for the past 20 years. Posidonia oceanica meadows are now declining at an estimated rate of five per cent annually.

"The concern is that while Posidonia oceanica meadows have thrived for millennia their current decline suggests they may no longer be able to adapt to the unprecedented rate of global climate change."

The genus Posidonia occurs only in the Mediterranean and Australian waters.

The findings: Implications of Extreme Life Span in Clonal Organisms: Milenary Clones in meadows of the Threatened Seagrass Posidonia oceanica has been published in the journal PLos ONE.


Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.


Latest Headlines


History shows more big wildfires likely as climate warms

El Niño and Why We Can't Predict the Weather (VIDEO)

Humans are worse for wildlife than nuclear disaster

Monitoring failures in the cockpit: Pilots may be inherently bad at watching computers fly the plane

Largest dinosaur population growth study ever shows how Maiasaura lived and died

Signs of ancient megatsunami could portend modern hazard

Asteroid impact, volcanism were one-two punch for dinosaurs

Asteroids found to be the moon's main 'water supply'

Storms after Wildfire Lead to Impaired Water Quality

NASA Confirms Evidence That Liquid Water Flows on Today’s Mars






NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky. Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2015
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600