Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mysteries of Kilimanjaro

04.10.2006
Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is Africa’s highest mountain, and although it has been studied scientifically for over 100 years, it still hides some mysteries. Andreas Hemp has conducted extensive research on Kilimanjaro and reveals some of the mountain’s secrets in an article published today in the African Journal of Ecology.

The forests of Kilimanjaro are unusual for two reasons. One is that there is no bamboo zone, unlike the other East African mountains which have extensive bamboo forests. Another is that it was thought that there were only a few rare plants in the Kilimanjaro forests. Research by Hemp has explained the missing bamboo and uncovered a host of rare plants.

The missing bamboo is caused by a lack of elephants. Elephants are needed to create disturbance which encourages bamboo regeneration. However, on Kilimanjaro the lower slopes of the mountain are covered in cultivation preventing elephants from ascending into the forest “There are elephants on the dry side of the mountain” says Hemp “but the valleys are too steep and deep for elephants to traverse to the wet side where the bamboo could grow”. The research demonstrates the complex links between plants and animals and the far reaching effects of changes caused by humans.

The rare plants were found in forest relicts in the deepest valleys of the cultivated lower areas suggesting that a rich forest flora once covered Mt. Kilimanjaro. The plants included a forest tree 40 m high that was new to science. “Kilimanjaro has long been excluded from the tropical rainforest biodiversity hotspot of Tanzania, but these exciting finds change the whole way we think about forest diversity of eastern Africa” said Jon Lovett, an expert in African biodiversity at the University of York.

... more about:
»Hemp »Kilimanjaro »Mountain »bamboo

However, the forests of Kilimanjaro are changing. Fires and logging have had a major impact on the forests. Fire in particular is reducing extent of the highest cloud forests. “The cloud forests are draped in moss and are an important water source as they catch moisture from the mist which shrouds them” explains Hemp “when they are burnt the hydrology of the whole mountain is affected”.

Kate Stinchcombe | alfa
Further information:
http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1365-2028.2006.00679.x

Further reports about: Hemp Kilimanjaro Mountain bamboo

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute

nachricht Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

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

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>