25 Jan 2013 After years of gains against destruction of the Amazon rainforest, Brazil appears to be suffering from an increase in deforestation as farmers, loggers, miners and builders move into previously untouched woodland, according to data compiled by the... http://planetark.org/wen/67719
Illegal logging and unchecked economic development are taking a devastating toll on the forests of Vietnam and neighboring countries, threatening areas of biodiversity so rich that 1,700 species have been discovered in the last 15 years alone.
Posting photos by Gabriele Galmimberti of "Grandmothers from around the Globe" got me thinking about hospitatlity and sharing... then and now. New forms of hospitality are emerging and maybe our focus has shifted somehwat but its worth some thought as to the implications for Bio-cultural diversity and what we are learning from new forms of engagement.
Caroline Cornish, who has recently finished her PhD thesis on the history of Kew's Museum of Economic Botany, describes an exciting discovery of old photographs in the Netherlands (Historical insights into @kewgardens ’s museum display of an...
Economic Botany 2012: A cache of sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seeds, discovered in the Thousand Buddha Grottoes at Boziklik, Turpan, China, dating to ca. 700 years before present (BP), is hard evidence of their use in China since that time. Morphological and anatomical features suggest a white sesame cultivar. The sizeable quantity unearthed implies that sesame was a valued commodity that could provision the monks and enrich the diet of ancient inhabitants as an oil source.
Manna grass (mainly but not exclusively G. fluitans) used to be widely gathered in most lowland areas of the present territory of Poland and western and southern Belarus. It had an important function as a component of tribute paid to local landowners by villagers, which led to the persistence of manna gathering even when this was not sustainable for peasants themselves. Manna grass was always an expensive food due to its time consuming gathering, but appreciated for its sweet taste and often served as dessert. In the nineteenth century marshes shrank significantly and the payment of tribute disappeared from the local economy, which gradually led to the total abandonment of Glyceria use around 1914. This article provides a detailed overview of Glyceria use as food within the borders of the former Polish-Lithuanian Kingdom (now Poland, Lithuania, western Belarus and western Ukraine) based on archaeobotanical, historical and ethnographic sources. The evidence for the continued use of manna since at least medieval times is abundant in historical accounts and ethnographic studies, but little has been reported in archaeobotanical findings due to the relatively small amounts of Glyceria consumed.
The review deals with three books focused on two questions dealing with a single problem: how human cultures and crop cultures are interrelated? The two questions dealt with are: Is there a conflict between the evolution of cultivated plants and the present trend of our cultural (including social, economical, ideological or political) evolution? If yes, what can be done to diminish this conflict? The three books focused on these questions deal with (1) growing number of endangered crops on global scale (Khoshbakht and Hammer, Threatened Crop Species Diversity. Shahid Beheshti University Press, Teheran 2010), (2) massive erosion of locally and regionally important crop varieties and associated traditional knowledge followed by collapse of whole agroecosystems and landscapes on a country scale (Antofie, A red list of crop plant varieties for Romania—Lista rosie a varietatilor plantelor de cultura din Romania. Publ. House Lucian Blaga Univ., Sibiu 2011), and (3) the growing number of endangered human communities (ethnic, cultural and linguistic islands) which preserved for centuries many valuable genetic resources (Hammer et al. 2011).
Together God and Dodge have brought us a farmer, in a video that’s going viral on the web. The pundits just can’t get enough of it. Ah, the simpler yet superior moral values of the rural life. Agrarianism strikes again.
Seed development, especially the relevant regulatory mechanism and genetic network are of fundamental scientific interest. Seed development consists of the development of embryo and endosperm; and endosperm development of rice (model species of monocots) is closely related to grain yield and quality. Recent genetic studies, together with other approaches, including transcriptome and proteomics analysis, high-throughput sequencing (RNA-seq, ChIP-seq), revealed the crucial roles of genetic and epigenetic controls in rice endosperm development. Here we summarize and update the genetic networks involved in the regulation of endosperm initiation, cell cycle regulation, aleurone layer specification, starch synthesis, storage protein accumulation and endosperm size, and the interactions between embryo and endosperm.
The Kuk Early Agricultural World Heritage Site is Papua New Guinea’s first World Heritage Site, and as such there are added challenges around management, and increased pressure to establish a good process for future heritage sites in the country.
While melons were familiar in antiquity, they were grown mostly for use of the young fruits, which are similar in appearance and taste to cucumbers, C. sativus....Findings: Medieval lexicographies and an illustrated Arabic translation of Dioscorides' herbal suggest that sweet melons were present in Central Asia in the mid-9th century. A travelogue description indicates the presence of sweet melons in Khorasan and Persia by the mid-10th century. Agricultural literature from Andalusia documents the growing of sweet melons, evidently casabas (Inodorous Group), there by the second half of the 11th century, which probably arrived from Central Asia as a consequence of Islamic conquest, trade and agricultural development. Climate and geopolitical boundaries were the likely causes of the delay in the spread of sweet melons into the rest of Europe.