There’s gold in them thar trees!

A recent paper in Nature by four Australian authors confirms that Eucalyptus trees growing over gold deposits will accumulate small quantities of gold in their leaves. Not only that, the authors show that Eucalyptus seedlings actually absorb gold from the soil – it’s not just gold-laden dust blowing onto the leaves.

This makes biogeochemical prospecting for gold a possibility – gold-bearing leaves may tell miners where to dig. Biogeochemical prospecting is not a new idea, but the work of these four scientists may initiate a resurgence of the technique.

For more about this discovery, see this Science news story, or the Nature paper itself.

A Eucalyptus marginata tree. Does it mark a goldfield below? (photo by “SatuSuro”)