Weird, Rare, and Everywhere

A group of biologists are conducting a bioblitz on Hecate Island, part of the Great Bear Rainforest on the coast of British Columbia. They are primarily focusing on bryophytes, the ancient group of plants that include mosses and liverworts. The researchers, including bryophyte experts Randal Mindell and Dan Tucker, are working on a larger project to document the flora and fauna in over 1,000 provincial parks, conservancies, and ecological reserves across British Columbia. Despite the region’s impact of human activity, it remains a global hotspot for biodiversity, with a quarter of the world’s remaining ancient coastal temperate rainforest. Sphagnum mosses, a particularly useful bryophyte, are found in almost 600 species in British Columbia, transforming wetlands around the world, and peat from these mosses stores one-third of the world’s terrestrial carbon.

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