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A new paper published in Nature shows how collections have been used to understand the impacts of recent wildfires on Australian vegetation. 

The publication, Implications of the 2019–2020 megafires for the biogeography and conservation of Australian vegetation (https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21266-5), reports on the biogeographic and taxonomic impact of Australia’s 2019–2020 ‘Black Summer’ bushfires.

The authors quantified the impact of the fires on native vascular plant taxa within the south-east Australian mainland using spatial occurrence data from more than 9000 species downloaded from the Australasian Virtual Herbarium.  They report: “Based on geocoded species occurrence data we estimate that [more than] 50% of known populations or ranges of 816 native vascular plant species were burnt during the fires, including more than 100 species with geographic ranges more than 500 km across.” 

Collections in the News
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