The desert is dying

Feb 14, 2007

Researchers from University of Bergen have found that trees, which are a main resource for desert people and their flocks, are in significant decline in the hyper-arid Eastern Desert of Egypt.

In places more than 50% of the mature trees have disappeared between 1965 and 2003, while almost no new trees have been recruited. Despite extreme aridity the main cause of tree mortality seems not to be climate, but commercial charcoal production. This indicates that the traditional and sustainable indigenous resource management, which desert people have developed through millennia, is changing.

Desertification has been recurrently discussed and questioned since the 1970s. The focus has been on desert borderlands, while changes in sparse but important vegetation resources within the desert core have been neglected.

Source: Public Library of Science

Explore further: Major storm threatens Northeast with up to 2 feet of snow

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

School buses bring Wi-Fi to impoverished families

Dec 29, 2014

Near the shore of the murky Salton Sea in the Southern California desert, a bus drives up to West Shores High School each day with a critical connection: A Wi-Fi router mounted behind an interior mirror, providing Internet ...

Tracing the evolution of forest trees

Nov 10, 2014

There are at least 60,000 identified tree species in the world, "but we know next to nothing about how they got here," Elizabeth Stacy says. "Trees form the backbone of our forests, and are ecologically and ...

The Sahara olive tree: A genetic heritage to be preserved

May 03, 2013

The Saharan cousin of Mediterranean olive trees remains largely unknown. However, this subspecies (called the Laperinne's olive tree) is of great interest for several reasons. IRD researchers and their partners ...

In pursuit of unknown assassin bugs

Sep 09, 2014

Entomologist Christiane Weirauch is passionate about studying a group of bugs that have a formidable name: assassin bugs. A professor of entomology at the University of California, Riverside, she travels ...

Recommended for you

British lawmakers demand freeze on fracking

13 hours ago

A committee of British lawmakers demanded a national moratorium on fracking due to environmental concerns on Monday, ahead of a crucial vote intended to boost the shale gas industry.

UN moves toward major treaty for ocean biodiversity

Jan 25, 2015

UN member states agreed Saturday to begin negotiations on a treaty to protect marine biodiversity in ocean areas extending beyond territorial waters, in a move heralded by environmental organizations.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.