An international team of researchers, including two from the University of Montana, are working to help identify priority forest areas for protection on Borneo.
Tropical forest ecosystems are an important part of the global carbon cycle as they take up and store large amounts of CO2. It is however uncertain how much these forests' ability to take up and store carbon differ between forests with high versus low species richness. New IIASA research sheds light on this question aiming to enhance our ability to predict tropical ecosystems' strength as global carbon sinks.
In patients with epilepsy, normal neurological activity becomes disrupted, causing debilitating seizures. Now, researchers report in ACS Chemical Neuroscience that they have found a potential new treatment for this disorder by turning to traditional Chinese medicine. Tests of extracts from plants used in these ancient remedies led the team to one compound, derived from a magnolia tree, that could quell drug-resistant seizures in both fish and mice.
In one of the first studies to explicitly account for fragmentation in tropical forests, researchers report that smaller fragments of old-growth forests and protected areas experienced greater losses than larger fragments, between 2001 and 2018. The results suggest tropical forests are likely to continue shrinking if large-scale efforts to protect blocks of natural forest are not swiftly implemented.
Researchers at the University of Sydney and University of São Paulo, Brazil, estimate 20% of the malaria risk in deforestation hot spots is driven by the international trade of exports including: coffee, timber, soybean, cocoa, wood products, palm oil, tobacco, beef and cotton. The results of the study can be used for more demand-side approaches to mitigating malaria incidence by focusing on regulating malaria-impacted global supply chains.
The biopolymer lignin is a by-product of papermaking and a promising raw material for manufacturing sustainable plastic materials. However, the quality of this naturally occurring product is not as uniform as that of petroleum-based plastics. An X-ray analysis carried out at DESY reveals for the first time how the internal molecular structure of different lignin products is related to the macroscopic properties of the respective materials.
At high species richness, directed loss, but not random loss, of tree species strongly decreases forest productivity. This is shown by data from a big forest project in China in which the University of Zurich is involved. Previous studies based on random species loss could therefore bias the predictions of how more realistic extinction scenarios are likely to affect ecosystem functioning.
In the first major study following the devastating 2014 Carlton Complex fire in north central Washington, researchers from the University of Washington and US Forest Service found that previous tree thinning and prescribed burns helped forests survive the fire.
Researchers at Wits University in Johannesburg, South Africa, have created the world's first framework, to better guide the management of terrestrial invasive species.