Scientists have discovered the oldest tree in Europe, which is more than 1,200 years. The finding occurred in the southern part of Italy, and could mean a new way for the flora to face climate change
In the middle of the rocky slopes of southern Italy, scientists have found the oldest tree in Europe that has been recorded. It is a Balkan pine, a common species in the Pollino National Park. The species is now under the spotlight after it is proven that it has lived for 1,230 years and continues to grow.
The finding was made by scientists from the University of Tuscia, in Viterbo, and published in the journal Ecology, in the middle of a work to register the trees in the area. According to research on this specimen, which has been dubbed “Italus”, the tree has managed to survive during various periods of intense heat and drought.
However, the growth of its rings has shown that in recent times it has managed to overcome current conditions and continues to grow. The scientists found that after decreasing the size of the rings in the trunk during the last centuries, the ancestral pine has begun to visibly increase these rings that are formed in the trees’ body, which could also be an indicator of better environmental conditions in the area, or a good adaptation.
It is precisely this aspect that captivated the attention of the researchers, since they believe that it may contain useful information on how to deal with the scenarios generated by the current climate change. Something that could help in the creation of methods to take care of other species.