A descriptive study of a number of baobab trees more ancient sub-saharan Africa, which are among the largest trees and oldest of the planet, reveals a mysterious plague of origin unknown.
The authors report in the journal Nature Plants that 8 of the 13 baobabs older have died in the last twelve years. After describing the structure of trees, we also report the dating of the carbon in these trees and require more research on your mortality. The deaths, they claim, were not caused by an epidemic.
“We suspect that the disappearance of baobabs monumental may be associated, at least in part, with significant changes of the climatic conditions that affect south Africa in particular,” said the team, led by Dr. Adrian Patrut of the Babes-Bolyai University in Romania. “However, more research is needed to support or refute this supposition.
Researchers have been visiting ancient trees in south Africa since 2005, using the dating of carbon by radio to investigate their structure and age. Unexpectedly, they discovered that eight of 13 baobabs older and five of the six largest had died or had lost significant parts of its structure.
Baobab trees have many stems and tree trunks, often of different ages. In some cases, all the stems died suddenly. “We suspect that this is associated with the increase of temperature and drought,” said Patrut to BBC News, “it is shocking and very sad to see them die”. He admitted, however, that have no evidence and that is only a guess.
The trees that have died or are dying are found in Zimbabwe, Namibia, south Africa, Botswana and Zambia. All have between 1,000 and more than 2,500 years.