- Behavior Genetics of Psychopathology;
- Comparative storage biology of tropical tree seeds.
- SLU and the greenhouse gas inventory.
There is barely a single trunk more than ten centimetres in diameter. Mangrove forests used to stretch in an almost uninterrupted arc around the Bay of Bengal, from Bangladesh in the north to Thailand in the south, forming a natural line of defence against cyclones that batter the coast every few years. Over the past few decades they have been stripped away to be turned into charcoal, or to make space for shrimp farms, rice fields and tourist resorts.
In Myanmar alone, a million hectares of mangroves have been lost since The loss of the forest has left the country exposed to extreme weather. More than , people died. For the past four monsoon seasons, Win Maung has been overseeing an attempt to rebuild the barrier. It is dirty, difficult work, and slow. People from local communities are employed to plant seedlings by hand, crouching in the sucking mud for hours at a time. Since , they have planted five million trees, covering just over 2, hectares of land. It's back-breaking work, and progress can be slow. However, over the past 18 months a more radical solution has been trialled.
Drones, operated by the Oxfordshire-based startup BioCarbon Engineering, have been flying sorties over the devastated mangroves. White quadcopters, a metre across, fly at altitude, making high-resolution SK. AI maps of the terrain, feeding the data back into an algorithm that can analyse the topology, slope, soil type and moisture to determine the optimum position of each seed; and collecting granular information about the seedlings as they grow. Other UAVs fly two metres above the ground, strafing the bare mud with air guns, leaving puckered lines in the ground.
Each shot deposits a white, marble-sized seed pod buried a few centimetres below the surface. We cannot rely on anything being normal and like it used to be. Global emissions have actually increased in recent years, however, rising nearly thee per cent in , according to the Global Carbon Budget. The global failure to bring down emissions has focused attention on the other half of the carbon equation: taking it out of the atmosphere. Trees are an obvious part of the answer. Forests already remove a quarter of all the carbon dioxide that humans emit into the atmosphere.
F edorenko, an environmental activist from Vladivostok, first began working on forestry projects in the Russian far east as a teenager. By , working on her PhD in environmental governance at Oxford University, she had started to feel bogged down in academia, and was looking for an opportunity to do something with a practical impact. That year she attended an entrepreneurship session organised by the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford, where she pitched an idea for a crowdfunding and monitoring platform for forestry.
There she met Lauren Fletcher, who had been an engineer at Nasa for 20 years, working on projects to understand the viability of life on Mars. He had become disillusioned by the amount of money being thrown at this research, to the detriment of environmental research on Earth. At the Skoll meeting, Fletcher pitched what he saw as a potential solution to the problem of reforestation: firing saplings from drones.
Using a small grant from the Skoll Foundation, and some money provided by the competition itself, they hired their first employee — an engineer — and cobbled together a prototype. They finished third, competing against huge teams from global tech companies. Executives from the French drone-maker Parrot were in the audience, and told Fedorenko that they wanted to invest in the company. They also employed remote sensing experts to fit out drones with the equipment to measure and analyse landscapes, and a machine-learning and data team who developed the back-end systems that turn the sensor data into planting patterns.
Much of the early research and development focused on the UAV payloads: over time, the team's thinking evolved from planting whole seedlings to using marble-sized, biodegradable seed pods. Their first project came in early An Australian coal company hired them to restore a decommissioned open-cut mine, seeding it with grasses, bushes and trees.
Next, a commission came in from an owner of private woodland in Herefordshire. We were ready for that. T he Thor Heyerdahl Climate Park, which spreads over 2, hectares of coastal wetlands in Ayeyarwady, is named after the Norwegian adventurer who, in , sailed a wooden raft 7,km across the Pacific from Peru to Polynesia.
When the WIF arrived seven years ago, the park had been almost entirely stripped of its mangrove forests. He was invited into Myanmar just after elections in triggered its still incomplete transition from military rule. His previous involvement in the country had been somewhat less welcome. In the s, he helped to found the Radio Democratic Voice of Burma with exiled opposition leaders, broadcasting pro-democracy messages into the country over shortwave radio. Myanmar is still a difficult country to operate in, riven with internal conflicts and financially unstable.
Ayeyarwady Region is contiguous with the state of Rakhine, where the government has been accused by the UN of committing genocide against the Muslim Rohingya minority.
The area around the climate park is economically underdeveloped, and lacks even basic infrastructure. The power is only on for a few hours per day. Employment opportunities are sparse outside the regional capital of Pathein, largely limited to fishing, small-scale farming and seasonal work at a few down-at-heel hotels and beach resorts that are still clinging on to service dwindling numbers of tourists from Yangon. BioCarbon's SK. Some of that comes from direct employment in the planting operations and in the nurseries where WIF prepares seedlings; some from more sustainable crab and shrimp farming in the roots of the mangroves.
They sponsor education and entrepreneurship initiatives, teaching school-leavers English and IT skills. It took three years of working with local communities and getting their buy-in before they could even start the planting work. The previous trials in the UK and Australia had been smaller projects, in more controlled environments. Myanmar presented the kind of complex economic and social forces that can frequently derail well-intentioned environmental projects. It was something of a baptism of fire for a young company from the other side of the world.
All land use types were significantly different from each other. The variance in the germinant species' community composition explained by land use was high The first ordination axis explained The soil seed bank of rainforest was largely defined by the presence of two native pioneer trees T. The soil seed bank of tea land was characterized by the presence of the herbs L. Finally, the soil seed bank of kekilla land was characterized by the presence of three herbs E. Many species were not abundant enough to be well explained by the ordination but others were, indicating their dominance of the community.
Soil seed banks of the rainforest had an abundance of primarily two pioneer woody plants: C.
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Seed bank abundance of pine plantations was dominated by the pioneer tree T orientalis. The kekilla land soil seed bank was defined primarily by the abundance of the woody pioneer shrub Melastoma malabathrium and the grass F. Many studies of tropical rain forests report that viable pioneer tree seeds stored in the soil can play a major role after natural or anthropogenic disturbances Zimmerman et al.
Viable seed storage of pioneer tree species in the soil seed bank serves as a key indicator for the assessment of the restoration potential of vegetation Chen et al. Our results provide critical baseline data for the potential to understand under what circumstances, if desired, passive reforestation can be undertaken for rain forests in Sri Lanka, and more broadly for wet evergreen forests in South Asia Western Ghats, India. Clearly, when Sri Lankan rain forests are cleared completely, which includes removal of all advance regeneration and destruction of the roots of the original forest, our study demonstrates the soil does not have the potential seed source for renewal and regrowth, which is necessary for regenerating a new forest.
Our study showed that the soils of the rainforest have the lowest species richness, density, and diversity as compared to the other land uses. Both studies indicate that the majority of species are native pioneer trees and shrubs and none were indicated to be exotics.
Similarly for a Panamanian forest, Dalling et al.
Tropical Forest Fruits, Seeds, Seedlings & Trees
Vines represented a very low density and are mostly restricted to the forest and pine soil seed banks. The presence of vines in soil seed banks can inhibit regrowth because of their fast growth and ability to smother competition. The near absence of vines in the soil seed bank of our study suggests that they may play a less significant role in inhibiting spontaneous reforestation processes of disturbed and cleared lands for this region.
Interestingly pine plantations show almost an equal number of tree seedlings germinating as the rainforest, but species composition was different, with pine plantations primarily comprised of the native pioneer Trema orientalis instead of the exotic A.
Tropical Forest Fruits, Seeds, Seedlings & Trees | NHBS Academic & Professional Books
Similarly, the native Melastomataceae shrub species Melastoma malabathricum predominated beneath the pine rather than the exotic Clidemia hirta , which was the major shrub represented in the soil seed bank of the rainforest. Seed bank germinant densities in the pine plantations had equally low densities as the rainforest but significantly higher Shannon diversity. The change in seed bank composition between kekilla fern land and pine might be related to the time elapsed as the pine was planted on fern land, with the cover of the young pine forest enabling the soil seed bank to build up both in diversity of growth habits and species, especially in pioneer tree species.
These species attract birds, small mammals, and bats and in so doing promote native rainforest regeneration under their canopy. Tea was the one land use with the greatest density of germinants within the soil seed bank with over double the number as compared to pine and the rainforest. However, none were woody trees and shrubs.
Related Tropical Forest Seed (Tropical Forestry)
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