Navigation Links
Pollen can protect mahogany from extinction
Date:4/3/2012

New research from the University of Adelaide could help protect one of the world's most globally threatened tree species - the big leaf mahogany - from extinction.

Big leaf mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) is the most prized mahogany timber around the world. It is at risk of extinction in its native habitats because of the timber trade, particularly in Central and South America.

To better understand how such a threatened species can be brought back from the brink of extinction, scientists from the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute have studied the important role played by the trees' pollen in the health and re-growth of mahogany forests.

The results of this study have been published online in Ecology Letters.

The researchers found that the extensive exploitation of mahogany forests has had a major impact on the diversity and availability of the trees' pollen. This in turn limits the ability of individual trees to grow and provide cross-fertilization for other mahogany trees.

"We collected data across seven Central American countries* which shows that trees remaining in cleared forest areas suffer from too much self-fertilization and low pollen diversity," says lead author Martin Breed, a PhD student with the University of Adelaide's Environment Institute and the School of Earth & Environmental Sciences.

"This results in less competitive seedlings and affects the rate of re-growth of the species."

Mr Breed says to restore forests would require replanting key species and finding good-quality seeds from healthy trees. "Growing new mahogany trees has proven a major challenge in the past. By better understanding the importance of pollen diversity, we hope this research provides the key to restoring forests at a much higher rate.

"Ensuring seed is collected from healthy populations will improve our chances of protecting not only mahogany, but the hundreds of other species - and human communities - that rely on it," he says.

Senior co-author Professor Andrew Lowe, Director of the Australian Centre for Evolutionary Biology and Biodiversity at the University of Adelaide, says: "Aside from being one of the world's most prized timbers, every mahogany tree provides habitat for hundreds of animals and plants, so they're ecologically very important."

He says this discovery has the potential to impact the way we think about restoring forests and shows us why it is vital to protect areas of high conservation value.

"Preserving areas where large populations of species have existed for the longest time not only assures the future of these iconic sites, but also provides insurance for entire species beyond the sites themselves," Professor Lowe says.

The project was largely funded from the European Union through the project SEEDSOURCE, with a portion of the funding coming from a grant awarded by the Australian Research Council.

Dr Carlos Navarro, who was employed by CATIE (the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center) in Costa Rica at the time, was primarily responsible for directing the fieldwork and the collection of leaf and seed material used in the analysis and was the researcher who did the growth assessments.


'/>"/>

Contact: Martin Breed
martin.breed@adelaide.edu.au
61-883-137-032
University of Adelaide
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Fossilized pollen unlocks secrets of ancient royal garden
2. Pollen research not be sniffed at
3. Fossilized pollen reveals climate history of northern Antarctica
4. Pollen also appears outside flowering season
5. UF Pine lsland pollen study leads to revision of states ancient geography
6. Amount of dust, pollen matters for cloud precipitation, climate change
7. Gone with the wind: Far-flung pine pollen still potent miles from the tree
8. Algae and pollen grains provide evidence of remarkably warm period in Antarcticas history
9. Penn biologists identify a key enzyme involved in protecting nerves from degeneration
10. Size matters: Large Marine Protected Areas work for dolphins
11. When our skin fails to protect us
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/16/2017)... May 16, 2017  Veratad Technologies, LLC ( www.veratad.com ... age and identity verification solutions, announced today they will ... 2017, May 15 thru May 17, 2017, in ... International Trade Center. Identity impacts the ... in today,s quickly evolving digital world, defining identity is ...
(Date:4/24/2017)... 24, 2017 Janice Kephart , ... Identity Strategy Partners, LLP (IdSP) , today issues ... President Trump,s March 6, 2017 Executive Order: ... vetting can be instilled with greater confidence, enabling ... all refugee applications are suspended by until at ...
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. ... company, announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form ... Exchange Commission. ... Form 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the ... on the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... ... October 10, 2017 , ... For ... has won a US2020 STEM Mentoring Award. Representatives of the FirstHand program travelled ... Volunteer Experience from US2020. , US2020’s mission is to change the trajectory of ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... Oct. 10, 2017 SomaGenics announced the receipt ... to develop RealSeq®-SC (Single Cell), expected to be the ... RNAs (including microRNAs) from single cells using NGS methods. ... need to accelerate development of approaches to analyze the ... "New techniques for measuring levels of mRNAs in ...
(Date:10/9/2017)...  BioTech Holdings announced today identification and patenting ... stem cell therapy prevents limb loss in animal ... that treatment with ProCell resulted in more than ... to standard bone marrow stem cell administration.  Interestingly, ... of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving ... marijuana products targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into ... in Phoenix, Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving ...
Breaking Biology Technology: