Forests worldwide threatened by drought
- February 21, 2017
- University of Stirling
- Forests around the world are at risk of death due to widespread drought, researchers have found. An analysis suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.
An analysis, published in the journal Ecology Letters, suggests that forests are at risk globally from the increased frequency and severity of droughts.
The study found a similar response in trees across the world, where death increases consistently with increases in drought severity.
Dr Sarah Greenwood, Postdoctoral Researcher in Stirling’s Faculty of Natural Sciences, said: “We can see that the death of trees caused by drought is consistent across different environments around the world. So, a thirsty tree growing in a tropical forest and one in a temperate forest, such as those we find throughout Europe, will have largely the same response to drought and will inevitably suffer as a result of rising temperatures and changes in rainfall patterns on Earth.”
The biological and environmental scientists did find specific, varying features in different tree types can alter their resistance to drought. Species with denser wood and smaller, thicker leaves tend to fare better during prolonged, unusually-dry periods.
Read the full article: Science Daily
Poor nations’ economies grow with rising deforestation
by Baraka Rateng’
- Researchers assessed the link between economic growth and deforestation
- They found that in poor countries, increased deforestation leads to growth
- An expert says the study is useful for formulating policies
Poor countries’ economic growth increases with deforestation rates but the effect disappears in wealthier economies, a study says.
According to researchers, climatic factors and inadequate data make it difficult to establish the link between economic development and overexploitation of natural resources.
But using satellite data, researchers were able to assess the link between deforestation rates and economic factors across countries.
“Our results quantify the potential costs that such policies could potentially have in terms of forest cover loss.”
Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, Vienna University of Economics and Business
The study published this month (16 January) in the journal Scientific Reports found that as developing countries become richer, a decrease in forest cover occurs, but such a relationship disappears at higher levels of income per capita.
“This implies that increases in deforestation, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa, are expected as poorer economies converge in income per capita to that of developed countries,” says Jesús Crespo Cuaresma, a research scholar and professor of economics at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, who led the study.
Read the full article: SciDevNet
Study maps carbon recovery after Amazon logging
by Rodrigo de Oliveira Andrade
- Selective logging improves carbon absorption by remaining trees
- Research analysed 133 forest plots in 13 sites across Amazon rainforest
- Forests from northern sites store more after logging due to favourable climate
Trees in the northern part of the Amazon rainforest recover their capacity to absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere more quickly after selective logging compared with trees in the south where the climate is less favourable, a study reports.
Published in the journal eLife last month (December 20), the research assessed the dynamics of CO2 absorption in parts of the Amazon after they had been through selective logging — a practice where only the most valuable and biggest trees are cut down and collected.
“The low-impact, selective cutting of trees is vital to limiting damage to large, unharvested trees, which are critical for forest recovery.”
William Laurance, James Cook University
The Amazon rainforest accounts for up to 30 per cent of the total CO2stored by forests globally. But every year, selective logging contributes to the release of a big part of this stored carbon, contributing to global warming.
These emissions are cancelled out in the medium term, thanks to the carbon dynamics of the forests themselves: the remaining trees — those not harvested — and young trees — which regenerate naturally after logging— assimilate atmospheric carbon again.
Read the full article: SciDevNet
Photo credit: CGIAR
A bird’s eye view of the stark contrast between the forest and agricultural landscapes near Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. – Kate Evans/CIFOR
Can a deforestation driver become a forest protector?
The European Union likes to think of itself as environmentally minded and socially benevolent. Green and sustainable. That’s quite a long way from the truth. For while the EU takes a global lead on climate change, it remains probably the world’s largest driver of tropical deforestation and the commercialization, centralization and globalization of agricultural systems across the developing world.
Could that be about to change? And can it help save smallholders as well as forests?
Every year millions of tonnes of soy, beef, palm oil, sugar, cocoa and other major agricultural commodities grown on former rainforest lands arrive at European ports. An EU study in 2013 concluded that it was responsible for 36 per cent of deforestation arising from agricultural commodities.
Moreover, much of this commodity trade is in some manner illegal, the crops grown on land converted thanks to forged or bogus permits, breaches in land laws that involve grabbing land from smallholders and forest communities.
Read the full article: CGIAR
Photo credit: ielts beginner
DEFORESTATION AND DESERTIFICATION
A The Sahel zone lies between the Sahara desert and the fertile savannahs of northern Nigeria and southern Sudan. The word sahel comes from Arabic and means marginal or transitional, and this is a good description of these semi-arid lands, which occupy much of the West African countries of Mali, Mauritania, Niger, and Chad.
B Unfortunately, over the last century the Sahara desert has steadily crept southwards eating into once productive Sahel lands. United Nations surveys show that over 70 per cent of the dry land in agricultural use in Africa has deteriorated over the last 30 years. Droughts have become more prolonged and more severe, the most recent lasting over twenty years in parts of the Sahel region. The same process of desertification is taking place across southern Africa as the Kalahari desert advances into Botswana and parts of South Africa.
Read the full page: ielts beginner
Photo credit: Forests News
A Kiwcha couple walk in the jungle to cut timber, Coca, Ecuador. CIFOR Photo/Tomas Munita
Why does illegal logging continue after forestry reforms?
Researchers take a closer look at the connections between regulations and local needs in Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia
The western Amazonian countries of Peru, Ecuador and Bolivia have implemented significant forest reforms over the last two decades to help smallholders and communities better manage and benefit from their forests.
Despite the changes, however, many continue to manage their forests in ways that result in illegal logging.
Why does illegal logging persist among smallholders and communities? In search of an answer, scientists from the Indonesia-based Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) traveled to community forests, agroforestry plots, sawmills, government offices and other sites in the three countries. They interviewed policy makers, government officials and people who work in different areas of the timber industry.
“We set out to answer three questions,” says CIFOR scientist Pablo Pacheco. “How do the tenure rights granted to smallholders and communities affect their decisions to use their forests? What are the main barriers that keep smallholders from adopting sustainable forest management practices? And why, after all these reforms, do many smallholders and communities continue to harvest timber without authorization?”
Read the full article: Forests News
A CIFOR scientist (left) inspects Arenillo seeds collected by a Kichwa timber producer. These seeds will be replanted by the farmer to reforest his land in Napo Province, Ecuador. Tomas Munita/CIFOR Photo
Success from the ground up?