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The diversity of rainforests - more than meets the eye

About half of the world’s plant and animal species call the rainforest home. Despite this massive dense population, rainforests today cover just two percent of the world’s surface. It’s safe to say these ecosystems are pretty important to the earth’s overall health and conservation. What is sometimes underestimated, is just how diverse the ecosystem of the rainforest can be. From ancient conifers to medicinal plants, to food sources, the rainforests around the world provide core ingredients to our lives.
 
As the rainforests become fewer, so many of our plant and animal species become endangered and worse, extinct.
 

So dense that we are still discovering the diversity

Fieldwork is a key component of the work we do. Our team such as our Seedbank Officer Gavin Phillips, spend weeks at a time exploring our pockets of rainforest, collecting seed and plant material with the sole purpose of storing and conserving those species.
 
To this day, this crucial fieldwork, not only helps us store and research the species we know, but our teams are discovering new and rare species all the time. Our Systematic Botanist Dr Matt Renner continues a huge number of new and un documented species through his field work.
 
“I’ve picked up a few new records for Australia, at least one at genus level, and a couple of new species.  The ‘best’ new species was on Thornton Peak, where I collected a totally new Chiastocaulon.”
The true diversity of our rainforests is really unknown to us. The exploration of these under-explored areas is key to knowledge and conservation as a whole.
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