Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


For Africa’s valuable mahoganies, it’s the soil, stupid


Authors say results could have major impacts on ’green’ certification programs

A study by a scientist from the New York-based Wildlife Conservation Society has revealed how Africa’s giant mahoganies, the ancient trees driving the tropical logging industry, require specialized, poorly understood soil conditions – results that could have huge implications on how Africa’s tropical forests are managed.

The study, appearing in the latest issue of the journal Ecology, looked at four mahogany species in Dznagha-Sangha Dense Forest Reserve, a 1,700 square-mile region in Central African Republic. The authors found that that three of the four species required specialized soils – those with a particular combination of plant nutrients - and were restricted to these sites within the forest. Previous analyses of soils with respect to the distribution of these and other tropical tree species have looked at things like topography to infer soil conditions, completely missing the importance and complexity of soil chemistry.

According to the lead author of study, WCS Conservationists Dr. Jefferson Hall, the results could have far-reaching impacts on how forests are managed and maintained by logging regimes.

"In practical terms, regenerating these high value species, could be the difference between justifying reuse of a given forest for timber production, or converting it for other uses, such as agriculture," said the study’s lead author, Dr. Jefferson Hall, a WCS conservationist.
Hall also believes the implications of this study on "green" certified timber, which require regeneration of harvested tree species, are huge. Hall said that the tradition throughout West and Central Africa has been one of mahogany "mining," and that their subsequent lack of regeneration has caused loggers to simply move on to other species, which in turn has led to deforestation. The early stages of this vicious cycle are evident even in the most remote forests of Africa. Knowing and taking into account the regeneration requirements of these species when writing management plans will vastly improve the prospects for long-term management, Hall added.

The authors said that failure to really look at the importance of soil with regards to plant diversity has been largely ignored.

"Understanding how a tropical forest maintains its diversity is extremely important for conservation biologists," said Hall. "One cannot hope to manage and protect a species within forests if one does not understand the processes that control their distribution."

Stephen Sautner | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

nachricht Malaysia's unique freshwater mussels in danger
27.09.2016 | The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus

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: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Greater Range and Longer Lifetime

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VDI presents International Bionic Award of the Schauenburg Foundation

26.10.2016 | Awards Funding

3-D-printed magnets

26.10.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

More VideoLinks >>>