Author: Liam Taylor
A cattle farmer from south-east Queensland decided to have a mangrove tree on his property carbon dated and the study yielded some very surprising results. The tree came back as being over 700 years old, easily making it the oldest mangrove in Australia and, most likely, the world.
Lindsay Titmarsh, whose family has worked with cattle on a 5,000-hectare property since 1907, had been aware of the tree for over 20 years but never thought much of it until recently.
“It's only in the last 20 years I have looked at them from a different angle and seen the beauty of them.
"When I saw this tree I knew it was old, it was the oldest one I have ever seen,” Mr Titmarsh told ABC News.
He decided to send a sample of the tree to the New Zealand University of Waikato Radiocarbon Dating Library, not expecting to find the tree came to be during the early 13th century. This would put it around the time of the Magna Carta, hence the decision to name the mangrove the Magna Carta tree.
The common belief prior to this discovery was that mangroves generally live for between 100 and 200 years. The trees are a vital part of Australia’s coastal ecosystems, playing crucial roles as nurseries for marine wildlife, a filter system for land run-off and buffers from storm surges and erosion.
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Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
Liam is Planet Ark's Communications Coordinator. Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia.
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