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    The rapid extinction of the incredibly tenacious baobab puts scientists in a deadlock
    The oldest and largest baobab mentioned by the ancient Greeks, is rapidly dying out over the last decade. A new study has shown that trees do not become a victim of any epidemic.

    Is believed that baobabs can live to three thousand years. This is the most long-lived angiosperms plants on Earth. Grows in dry savannas of tropical Africa and some other regions, where they were introduced, baobabs are a valuable source of water. Their fruits provide food for humans and animals. The local population uses the leaves of these trees as a drug or as a side dish, like spinach. Their crushed bark used in the manufacture of ropes, baskets, clothing, and waterproof hats. In short, the baobabs are loyal allies of human.

    People are trying to preserve the branching helpers as possible. But unfortunately, a new study found that these trees become extinct over the last decade.

    Initially, a team of scientists from Romania, South Africa and the USA, led by Adrian Petrocom (Adrian Patrut) from the University Babes-Bolyai was aimed to find out what determines such a large size of the baobab.

    Between 2005 and 2017, they collected samples from various parts of the trunks of more than 60 copies and conducted radiocarbon analysis. Also recorded data on the girth, height and age of trees. The most outstanding participant of the study was the double baobab Album (Holboom), which grows in Namibia. The height of the tree is 30.2 meters, and the circumference of 35.1 meters.

    The first important result was the discovery of the fact that the basis of the baobab is not one gun, and almost always a few. This explains the incredible vitality of the plant. This ensures that even if one of the trunks is damaged, the tree continues to live. But this good news end.

    Summing up the results of years of research, scientists have found that over time the majority of the most old and large trees died or were on the brink of survival. No, it happened not through the efforts of highly skilled professionals. It is well known that, even if the baobab trees affected by fire or lose part of the bark, it will not prevent them to successfully heal their wounds and continue to thrive.

    In his article, published in the journal Nature Plants, the team reports that for the last 12 years, 9 of the 13 oldest trees aged from 1100 to 2500 years either completely killed or had lost the oldest of their trunks. In this sad list were the four largest baobab tree on the African continent. Scientists also note that except for the group of the most serious losses are observed in other age groups of trees.

    As for the reasons for such an unprecedented mass death of the baobab, they are still not fully elucidated. The assumption that the oldest trees are the victim of any epidemic was not confirmed. To date, the main working version remains the global climate change. It is in this direction and continues the study now.

    Scientists, and with them the authors of the project "Conduct.Science" (, noted that not only the baobabs, and other trees of our planet require the attention of the public and protection from destruction. Waste in relation to forests will inevitably affect the ecology of the future the most tragic.

    Wednesday 13 June 2018 - 16:34:39email to someone printer friendly create pdf of this news item
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