Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

K-State biologist collaborating with researchers in Africa on grassland sustainability, biodiversity

16.03.2009
With a campus situated in the Kansas Flint Hills and access to the Konza Prairie Biological Station, Kansas State University researchers certainly know grasslands. They're using that expertise to collaborate with researchers in Botswana and South Africa on studies of African grasslands.

"There are a lot of parallels between Konza and other grass-dominated ecosystems around the world," said K-State's David Hartnett, a university distinguished professor of biology.

The research is examining the sustainability of the grasslands and conserving the biodiversity within them. Hartnett and collaborators in Botswana are assessing and documenting changes taking place because of climate change and land use changes.

Working with Moffat Setshogo and Mbaki Muzilla at the University of Botswana, the K-State group is studying how fire, grazing and important beneficial soil fungi affect the ecology and productivity of key grass species. Information about the research will appear at the African Issues Symposium: Food Security, Environmental Sustainability and Human Health, March 30 to April 1, at K-State. More information about the symposium is at http://www.k-state.edu/africanstudies/2009symposium/

Hartnett and Tony Joern, professor of biology, lead the K-State Institute for Grassland Studies, which was formed in 2008.

"K-State has a strong program in grassland studies and many people working on grassland ecosystems," Hartnett said. "We wanted to broaden it to international research and education."

The southern African grasslands and savannas have a lot in common with the grasslands of the central United States, Hartnett said. At the same time, he said the African grasslands are more interconnected to the people's way of life.

"Like in Africa, we acquire most of our food from grasslands, but the dependence is more critical in Africa," Hartnett said. "Not only do the grasslands produce grain and meat, but they also produce building materials, medicines and other essential goods and services. That's what makes the grasslands such an important region to focus on."

Hartnett said the research collaboration with African researchers -- primarily those from the University of Botswana -- has meant that K-State students have done research overseas while African students have come to K-State to pursue graduate degrees.

This summer, Hartnett will take nine K-State students on a study abroad program in Botswana. Hartnett said K-State also is working with the Peace Parks Foundation, which connects natural parks across southern Africa's international borders. He said much of the collaborative grassland research is being done in these conservation areas.

David Hartnett | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.k-state.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Safeguarding sustainability through forest certification mapping
27.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht Dune ecosystem modelling
26.06.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>