Dr. Liliana M. Dávalos, professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolution at Stony Brook, and her colleagues note that the pace of deforestation in Colombia has accelerated over the past 20 years, even as population growth has slowed and the economy has shifted from agriculture to other revenue sources. This increase in deforestation overlaps with an increase in the cultivation of coca for cocaine production, and the country accounted for 75 per cent of the world’s coca in 2000.
Earlier reports found that direct deforestation from coca was surprisingly small, with as little as 150 km2 of forests replaced by coca each year by 2005. Since rainforests contain about 10 percent of the world’s plant and animal species — some of which become the basis of new medicines — deforestation represents a serious threat to global biodiversity. With studies suggesting that coca cultivation contributes indirectly to deforestation, the scientists set out to further document this impact.
Their analysis of data from 2002-2007 on the effects of coca cultivation on deforestation of rainforests in Colombia identified several factors that boosted the likelihood that rainforests would be destroyed. In southern Colombia, a forest close to newly developed coca farms, for instance, was likely to be cut, as was land in areas where much of the farmland was devoted to coca.
This is the first time the indirect impact on deforestation from cultivation destined for the global cocaine market has been quantified across South America’s biodiversity hotpots.
The Stony Brook University scientists also showed that designating protected areas, regions that are set-aside for special protection for environmental reasons, reduced forest destruction in coca-growing areas. Establishing larger protected areas in the region could help control deforestation and preserve biodiversity, the report suggests.
“Forests and Drugs: Coca-Driven Deforestation in Tropical Biodiversity Hotspots”
Office of Media Relations | Newswise Science News
Trees and climate change: Faster growth, lighter wood
14.08.2018 | Technische Universität München
Animals and fungi enhance the performance of forests
01.08.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig
There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.
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New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference
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Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...
Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.
When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...
Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.
Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....
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20.08.2018 | Information Technology