Joy Clancy from the University of Twente has reviewed the problem in the current issue of the African Journal of Ecology. She says “A hundred years ago 95% of the African population was rural, today 38% live in cities with about half the population expected to be urban by 2010.”
This rapid growth is resulting in huge changes in natural resource use, but the effects are highly controversial. “Some environmentalists say that demand for fuel wood and charcoal from cities are causing deforestation, but in fact it is change in land use that is the main driver” continues Joy.
“The real change is around cities – the ‘peri-urban’ areas – where woodlands are cleared for agriculture to feed the new centres of population.” She points out “When this is added to the effect on water demand and waste disposal on aquatic ecosystems, then African cities can have an ecological footprint much larger than their actual extent.”
But there is little research on the ecology of cities “Africa is famous for its wildlife and the ecology of places such as the Serengeti are familiar to people all over the world, but remarkably few ecologists are studying urban environments” says Jon Lovett, associate editor of the African Journal of Ecology.
“Although we know a lot about lions and wildebeest, the real ecological challenges are in the cities and these are being ignored” he continues. “We need a massive shift in focus to tackle the most urgent environmental issues”.
Davina Quarterman | alfa
Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München
Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
20.10.2017 | Information Technology
20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research