This is because oil palm is grown in lowland tropical regions and so impacts on the most biodiverse terrestrial habitats: tropical rainforests. Analysis of the published literature by scientists led by Edgar Turner at the University Museum of Zoology, Cambridge has revealed significant changes in the focus of oil palm research over the last 30 years. The findings are published in PLoS ONE on February 13.
Recent years have seen a broadening in the scope of the research with a slight increase in research focusing on the environment and a dramatic increase in research focusing on biofuel. Despite this, hardly any oil palm publications focused on biodiversity and species conservation. Of these publications, the majority were related to mammals and birds. Although these larger animals are important flagships for the state of the tropical environment, they are not good indicators of oil palm biodiversity. The vast majority of the species worldwide are insects and it is they that carry out the lion’s share of the ecosystem function.
Head of the Insect Ecology Research Group, Dr William Foster said: “Much more research must be carried out to determine the impacts of habitat conversion on insect biodiversity. We need to move on from merely cataloguing biodiversity impacts, to understanding how all aspects of ecosystem services are affected by agricultural expansion.”Useful links for further information:
Andrew Hyde | alfa
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Physicists at the University of Basel are able to show for the first time how a single electron looks in an artificial atom. A newly developed method enables them to show the probability of an electron being present in a space. This allows improved control of electron spins, which could serve as the smallest information unit in a future quantum computer. The experiments were published in Physical Review Letters and the related theory in Physical Review B.
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Engineers at the University of Tokyo continually pioneer new ways to improve battery technology. Professor Atsuo Yamada and his team recently developed a...
With a quantum coprocessor in the cloud, physicists from Innsbruck, Austria, open the door to the simulation of previously unsolvable problems in chemistry, materials research or high-energy physics. The research groups led by Rainer Blatt and Peter Zoller report in the journal Nature how they simulated particle physics phenomena on 20 quantum bits and how the quantum simulator self-verified the result for the first time.
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'Quantum technologies' utilise the unique phenomena of quantum superposition and entanglement to encode and process information, with potentially profound benefits to a wide range of information technologies from communications to sensing and computing.
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Working group led by physicist Professor Ulrich Nowak at the University of Konstanz, in collaboration with a team of physicists from Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, demonstrates how skyrmions can be used for the computer concepts of the future
When it comes to performing a calculation destined to arrive at an exact result, humans are hopelessly inferior to the computer. In other areas, humans are...
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