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Scientists name tree after actor Leonardo DiCaprio

by Yucatan Times
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A group of scientists have named a tree after Leonardo DiCaprio in recognition of his support of environmental causes

January 7, 2022, (People).- A new tree has been named in honor of Leonardo DiCaprio, a group of rainforest scientists in the United Kingdom announced, according to the scientific journal PeerJ.

Scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew recently discovered a new type of tree, which only grows in the Cameroon forest — and decided to name it after the actor in recognition of his environmental advocacy. 

“This threatened and spectacular tree is named for the American actor and conservationist Leonardo DiCaprio, who, through several months in 2020, lobbied extensively on social media to draw attention to threats for the numerous rare Ebo species from the logging concession that had been announced at Ebo earlier that year,” scientists wrote in the journal. “The concession was cancelled in August 2020, surely partly due to his efforts.”

“We think he was crucial in helping to stop the logging of the Ebo Forest,” Kew scientist Dr Martin Cheek told the BBC.

Officially called the Uvariopsis dicaprio, the critically endangered tree features glossy, yellow-green flowers and will be considered a member of the ylang ylang family, scientists say. 

leonardo dicaprio
The Uvariopsis Dicaprio Tree | CREDIT: LORNA MACKINNON

The tropical tree also marks the first new plant to be named by Kew scientists this year.

Last year, Kew scientists officially named over 200 plants and fungi, although some of those species are already extinct or endangered due to deforestation or weather conditions brought on by climate change, according to the BBC. 

“There are still thousands of plant species and maybe millions of fungal species out there that we don’t know about,” Cheek told the outlet, before emphasizing the importance of making sure those species are protected.

Added the scientist, “This natural habitat that they’re growing in — especially forests, but other habitats too, is increasingly and more rapidly being destroyed by us humans without knowing what’s there.

Source: People

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