Nibbles: Amazon conservation, Radiation breeding, Chocomuseum, Biodiversity survey, Robot phenotyping, C4F, Sheepish

by Luigi Guarino on March 9, 2017

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Penny March 10, 2017 at 2:19 am

It is good to see the body of science refuting the myth of the pristine forest/wild continue to grow. The manipulation of places like the Amazon by humans may begin in more subtle ways. In peninsular Southeast Asia, bears, elephants and other animal species were known to facilitate the dominance of particular species within the larger complex of the rainforest (a ‘forest within a forest’) which when found was then further enhanced by humans. This was particularly true of stands of species of rattan with large fruits which, according to villagers, the sun bears loved, and so did they.

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Dave Wood March 14, 2017 at 8:08 pm

I’ve been going on about this for decades. The problem was the US Wilderness Bill (1964) which regards wilderness as ‘an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain’. Not applicable to most of the tropics – nor to any of North America, but the myth and the law persists. So the vast conservation business working from the USA (but trying to influence other countries) has to toe the line to get all that massive funding. Added to which Brazil grows soya – lots, pushing the price down for US exports. Brazil had the same problem over 40 years ago exporting beef (helped by CIAT). There is even the US slogan `fields here, forests there’. I wish there were a fraction of the funding available for the honest needs of crop genetic resources conservation and use.

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