The rapid growth of China's forests over the past 20 years makes them the fastest growing forest resources in the world, according to an assessment published in the November issue of BioScience.
The study, by Haigen Xu of the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences and nine colleagues, examined an array of indicators of biodiversity in China as part of an effort to assess China's progress toward the goals of the Convention of Biological Diversity. Parties to the convention agreed in 2002 to reduce biodiversity loss significantly by 2010.
China is a megadiverse country that has been undergoing rapid development, so the finding of growing forest stocks is surprising, although some of the growth may have consisted of monoculture plantations, which do not increase biodiversity.
The increase in forest cover was not the only bright spot that Xu and colleagues discovered. The amount of desertified land in China decreased between 1999 and 2004, emissions of many industrial pollutants have fallen, and a measure of marine ecosystem health shows that Chinese waters have started to improve--probably because of fishing restrictions--after reaching a low in 1997.
The favorable indicators do not conceal some bleak realities and worsening trends. Pollution in Chinese marine ecosystems is "still very severe;" mammal, fish, and bird species across the country are under increasing threat; and the use of fertilizers and pesticides that pollute rivers and lakes is increasing. Grasslands are declining, and the number of newly discovered invasive alien species shows "a tremendous upward trend," Xu and his colleagues write. The area devoted to nature reserves is large and has grown, although many of the reserves are poorly marked and maintained.
All in all, the authors say, despite major efforts by the Chinese government, "China still faces grave challenges in pollution control and biodiversity conservation." They note that "the next decade is a critical period for China to engage all stakeholders in protecting its rich and unique biodiversity."
After noon EST on November 2 and for the remainder of the month, the full text of the article will be available for free download through the copy of this Press Release available at http://www.aibs.org/bioscience-press-releases/
BioScience, published 11 times per year, is the journal of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS). BioScience publishes commentary and peer-reviewed articles covering a wide range of biological fields, with a focus on "Organisms from Molecules to the Environment." The journal has been published since 1964. AIBS is an umbrella organization for professional scientific societies and organizations that are involved with biology. It represents some 200 member societies and organizations with a combined membership of about 250,000.
The complete list of peer-reviewed articles in the November 2009 issue of BioScience is as follows:
Molecular Markers, Natural History, and Conservation of Marine Animals. Ronald S. Burton
China's Progress toward the Significant Reduction of the Rate of Biodiversity Loss. Haigen Xu and colleagues
Effects of Timber Harvest on Amphibian Populations: Understanding Mechanisms from Forest Experiments. Raymond D. Semlitsch and colleagues
Neotropical Forest Conservation, Agricultural Intensification, and Rural Out-migration: The Mexican Experience. Luis García-Barrios and colleagues
Plant Biosecurity in the United States: Roles, Responsibilities, and Information Needs. Roger D. Magarey, Manuel Colunga-Garcia, and Daniel A. Fieselmann
The Darwinian Revelation: Tracing the Origin and Evolution of an Idea. James T. Costa
BIOTAP: A Systematic Approach to Teaching Scientific Writing and Evaluating Undergraduate Theses. Julie Reynolds, Robin Smith, Cary Moskovitz, and Amy Sayle
Jennifer Williams | EurekAlert!
Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel
Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.
The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...
In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.
Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...
Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.
They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...
A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...
For the first time, an interdisciplinary team from the University of Basel has succeeded in integrating artificial organelles into the cells of live zebrafish embryos. This innovative approach using artificial organelles as cellular implants offers new potential in treating a range of diseases, as the authors report in an article published in Nature Communications.
In the cells of higher organisms, organelles such as the nucleus or mitochondria perform a range of complex functions necessary for life. In the networks of...
19.03.2018 | Event News
16.03.2018 | Event News
13.03.2018 | Event News
22.03.2018 | Trade Fair News
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences
22.03.2018 | Earth Sciences