Tropical forest
A new study investigates the survival of seedlings in the tropical rainforest. Photo by Thomas Hesselberg.
In a new study, scientists found that vertebrate activity, especially consumption, followed by diseases have the most affect on seedling survival in a tropical rainforest.  


One of the most striking differences between walking in a temperate and in a tropical forest is the much higher plant diversity in the latter. Whereas a typical temperate forest contains perhaps a few dozen different tree species at the maximum, a tropical forest can sustain up several hundred different species. However, how do the individual seed and seedlings from so many species manage to survive and thrive in the highly competitive environment of the rainforest? Of course the obvious answer is that most seeds do not survive, but some obviously do or the diversity would not be maintained. The botanists Alvares-Clare and Kitajima from the University of Florida have in a new study examined seed survival from a Tropical forest in Panama.

Climate change is happening, now and during the last century. Scientists from the university of Bern, Switzerland, now published new data about the speed of anthropogenic climate change. They compared CO2, N20 and CH4 (the most important gases responsible for greenhouse effect) over a period of the last 20.000 years. They used antarctic ice cores containing air locks of the monitored period. The investigation showed that the slopes of the global warming gases never before were so alarming high in the last 16.000 years as during the 20th century.