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: New water balance calculation for the Dead Sea

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

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 ...

Recommended for you

The geography of the global electronic waste burden

3 hours ago

As local and national governments struggle to deal with ever-growing piles of electronic waste (or "e-waste"), scientists are now refining the picture of just how much there is and where it really ends up. Published in the ...

Eco-pottery product from water treatment sludge

4 hours ago

Sludge is a by-product of water treatment. Sludge is produced during the clarification and filtration process in the water treatment system. It is also produced from the accumulated solids removed from sedimentation ...

Agricultural trade appears unaffected by BC carbon tax

5 hours ago

British Columbia's carbon tax does not appear to have had a measurable impact on international agricultural trade, despite concerns it would greatly reduce the BC industry's competitiveness, according to new analysis commissioned ...

User comments : 0