Plants growing from 100 year old seeds in a newly dug swamp


Researchers are currently studying plants that sprout from centuries-old seeds. That’s how everything developed. Workers at a Toronto Port Lands construction site recently discovered plants that had grown after the soil was removed.

The plants in question, hard-stem bulrush and cattails, are usually found in freshwater swamps, reported. The most interesting thing about these plants was the fact that they grew on a piece of earth that had remained seven meters below the surface for a century.

Based on this, conservationists concluded that these new plants grew from seeds buried when Ashbridges Bay Marsh was covered with a landfill in the early 1900s.

Geoffrey Vendeville, University of Toronto

Why scientists are studying the seeds

A team from the University of Toronto has now taken on the task of examining this centuries-old soil. “Our first goal is to understand what the swamp looked like back then,” Sarah Finkelstein is quoted as saying by “We’re going to try to answer questions like: What was the plant community like? How were the food webs? What role did this swamp play ecologically at the local and regional level?”

Also read: Plants are now breaking biochemical rules by deciding how much carbon to release

Plants growing from 100 year old seeds in a newly dug swamp
Photo courtesy of Waterfront Toronto/Vid Ingelevics/Ryan Walker

Another researcher, Shelby Riskin, will focus on how ecosystems function in the face of change and where land use comes into play. “We’re going to look for evidence of life in the swamp — shellfish, seeds, pollen — and hopefully get a picture of the biodiversity of these soils 100 years ago and compare them to what we’re finding in the area’s wetlands today,” says riskin.

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Plants growing from 100 year old seeds in a newly dug swamp
Geoffrey Vendeville

Ashbridges Bay Marsh, once considered a thriving natural ecosystem, became polluted in the late 19th century. In the 20th century it was covered. New parks and wetlands are being created to prevent flooding at the Don estuary. In the process, such treasures of environmental history are unearthed.

What do you think of growing plants a century ago? Let us know in the comments below. For more in the world of technology and ScienceContinue reading


Researchers study plants that sprout from centuries-old, uncovered seeds. (nd). University of Toronto News.

Sasaki, C. (2022, June 27). Researchers examine plants that sprout from centuries-old seeds after excavations. Phys. Org.


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