Moss on ice: Indian scientists’ discovery may change what we know about Antarctica
A team of scientists from Punjab has discovered a new moss species in eastern Antarctica and named it Bryum bharatiensis as a tribute to goddess Saraswati, also known as Bharati. One of India’s Antarctic stations is also called Bharati.
The team has written a paper describing the discovery. It has been accepted this week for publication in the Journal of Asia-Pacific Biodiversity.
The Indian Antarctic Mission was begun in 1981.This is the first and the only plant species that the mission has discovered in 40 years. The first Antarctic station, Dakshin Gangotri, was set up in 1984. An unmanned station, it had to be decommissioned in 1990 as it got submerged in ice.
Maitri was commissioned in 1989 while the Bharati station was established in 2012.