Scientists at Kew Gardens in London have found that trees influence epiphyte and invertebrate communities.
Studies in temperate regions have demonstrated that genetic differences between individual trees affect the ecological communities and ecosystem processes associated with them. Now scientists at Manchester University and Kew have examined the extent to which this phenomenon occurs between genetic variants of a single tree species in a diverse complex ecosystem such as a tropical forest.
The Permian extinction 250 million years ago was the largest mass extinction on record, and among the losers were conifers that originally blanketed the supercontinent of Pangaea. The demise of the world’s forests some 250 million years ago likely was accelerated by aggressive tree-killing fungi triggered by global climate change, according to a new study by a University of California, Berkeley, scientist and her Dutch and British colleagues. The researchers do not rule out the possibility that today’s changing climate could cause a similar increase in fungal diseases that could devastate forests already stressed by warming and drought.
The world’s forests are magnificent palaces of biodiversity, teeming with wacky and wonderful creatures and plants that seem otherworldly. But they’re also something far more mundane although useful: they’re giant sponges, soaking up vast amounts of carbon dioxide. According to a study published online on Thursday by the journal Science, the world’s forests absorb 2.4 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year, or about one-third of the carbon dioxide released through the burning of fossil fuels.
Within two decades, 60 percent of the world's population will live in cities, and coping with the resulting urban drinking water and sanitation issues will be one of the greatest challenges of this century.
BOGOR, Indonesia (27 April, 2012)_Forests are a nutritional bounty - virtual natural supermarkets for 1 billion of the world’s poorest people. Find out what you might not have known about forests and their importance for food security.
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