Rainforest puzzle

September 17, 2004

A flourishing, man-made rainforest that features plants from around the world is baffling scientists at Liverpool John Moores University.

The rainforest covering Green Mountain on Ascension Island, in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, was planted in the 1840s on what was then a barren volcanic island. Rainforests generally take millions of years to develop, yet this is just 150 years old.

The LJMU scientists told New Scientist magazine that "ecological fitting" meant species had not so much evolved on the island as made the best of what was on offer.

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