Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

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

11.08.2004


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:
http://www.wcs.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Value from wastewater
16.08.2017 | Hochschule Landshut

nachricht Species Richness – a false friend? Scientists want to improve biodiversity assessments
01.08.2017 | Carl von Ossietzky-Universität Oldenburg

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: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>