The kwongan has revealed the dirty secrets of the plant kingdom to University of Montreal and University of Western Australia scientists. The kwongan is a type of bush that is only found in South-West Australia and is exceptionally rich in terms of biodiversity, despite existing on some of the most infertile soils in the world. Its unique nature enabled the researchers to discover that plants use an amazing variety of root strategies to obtain nutrients from these poor soils. "In nature, plants growing in infertile land all use almost exactly the same above-ground strategy: they produce very tough leaves that survive for several years. However, up until now the contrasting diversity of what they were doing underground with their roots was unknown," explained Professor Etienne Laliberté.