Researchers find trees worldwide more sensitive to drought than previously thought

first_imgImage: Wikipedia. Explore further More information: Global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought, Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11688AbstractShifts in rainfall patterns and increasing temperatures associated with climate change are likely to cause widespread forest decline in regions where droughts are predicted to increase in duration and severity1. One primary cause of productivity loss and plant mortality during drought is hydraulic failure2, 3, 4. Drought stress creates trapped gas emboli in the water transport system, which reduces the ability of plants to supply water to leaves for photosynthetic gas exchange and can ultimately result in desiccation and mortality. At present we lack a clear picture of how thresholds to hydraulic failure vary across a broad range of species and environments, despite many individual experiments. Here we draw together published and unpublished data on the vulnerability of the transport system to drought-induced embolism for a large number of woody species, with a view to examining the likely consequences of climate change for forest biomes. We show that 70% of 226 forest species from 81 sites worldwide operate with narrow (<1 megapascal) hydraulic safety margins against injurious levels of drought stress and therefore potentially face long-term reductions in productivity and survival if temperature and aridity increase as predicted for many regions across the globe5, 6. Safety margins are largely independent of mean annual precipitation, showing that there is global convergence in the vulnerability of forests to drought, with all forest biomes equally vulnerable to hydraulic failure regardless of their current rainfall environment. These findings provide insight into why drought-induced forest decline is occurring not only in arid regions but also in wet forests not normally considered at drought risk7, 8.Press release (—A multinational team of researchers has found that trees worldwide are more sensitive to drought than scientists realized. By analyzing data on trees around the world, the teams has, as they write in their paper published in the journal Nature, found that even small changes in precipitation can lead to large numbers of tree deaths. In a perspective piece in the same journal, German researcher Bettina Engelbrecht says the teams' results indicate that trees of all regions could be in trouble as global temperatures rise, not just those in drier climates. Citation: Researchers find trees worldwide more sensitive to drought than previously thought (2012, November 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Nature To find out how sensitive trees in general are to changes in precipitation amounts, the research team studied data from 226 trees located in 81 sites around the world. Specifically, they looked at the point at which trees begin suffering from what is known as hydraulic failure. Trees pull water from the soil by means of evaporation in their leaves. As water moves out of the leaves, a vacuum is created in the channels (xylem) that bring water up from the roots into the plant, which serves to pull water up into the tree from the soil. If less water is available than the plant needs, air bubbles begin to accumulate in the xylem, plugging them. If enough channels become plugged, the tree suffers hydraulic failure and dies.In analyzing the available data, the researchers discovered that approximately 70 percent of the trees they studied lived near the point of failure. This they say is because trees adapt to their surroundings by developing in such a way as to suck up just the right amount of water they need to survive, while at the same time, competing with other plants in the area for other resources such as sunlight. This means, Engelbrecht, writes, that even trees in wet regions are at risk of dying off if rainfall amounts change even a little bit.The researchers suggest that rainfall amounts worldwide are likely to change as the world heats up due to global warming. Some areas are expected to get more water, others less. This new research suggests that those places that get less, even just a little, are likely to see widespread tree die-offs. Pacific Northwest trees struggle for water while standing in it This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

A way to speed up reaction discoveries using automation

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Science More information: Snap deconvolution: An informatics approach to high-throughput discovery of catalytic reactions , Science  14 Jul 2017: Vol. 357, Issue 6347, pp. 175-181, DOI: 10.1126/science.aan1568 ,” alt=”last_img”/> read more

A musical eve for AAIs 18th Annual Day

first_imgAirports Authority of India celebrated their 18th Annual Day with a mesmerising cultural night at New Delhi’s Sirifort Auditorium on Monday. Shri K.C. Venugopal, Minister of State for Civil Aviation was the Chief Guest for the function and Shri K.N. Shrivastava, Secretary (Civil Aviation) was the Guest of Honour. AAI felicitated and honoured its employees from various departments in order to appreciate their hard work during the last year. After the initial ceremony the much awaited cultural celebration began with the ‘King of Comedy’ Sudesh Lehri taking on the stage and setting the mood for the night with his quick witted jokes and hilarious impersonations of various Bollywood celebs.  His fantastic timing and rib-tickling jokes had everyone in splits. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But the evening belonged to the musically magical performance of Bollywood singer Shreya Ghoshal which left the audiences enthralled. The crowd loved Shreya’s melodious voice along with her great choice of romantic numbers that she is known best for. The crowd swayed to the tunes of hit songs from the movie Bodygaurd, Jism and many more. A surprise performance was given by Sa Re Ga Ma Pa -winner Hrishikesh Ranade who sang duets along with Shreya Ghoshal to end the night on a musical high.last_img read more

Appeasing one and all Impossible

first_imgIn a Sunday that brought a bouquet of films from different eras, the romance with cinema continued with flair at Siri Fort. The auditorium brimmed with energy for a workshop and panel discussion on We: the offended. The crux of the debate was to discuss the allegations, ranging from gender bias to stereotyping sects, posed at films from different fronts, pre and post release. As often is the case with these panel discussions, the auditorium seemed to be living the back-story of the cinema. There’s a lot more to what one sees on the silver screen: cuts, provocations, allegations, bans et al. The moot point for the day was offence. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Moderating the discussion, the Chief executive officer of CBFC Pankaja Thakur welcomed the panelists, directors- Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra, Ketan Mehta, Luv Ranjan, Rajendra Singh Babu, legal expert Amit Nayak and professor of Cinema studies at JNU, Ira Bhaskar. The afternoon session opened with Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s story of Dilli 6. How it got embroiled with the SC ST commission over the portrayal of a waste picker. As the discussion picked up, it was noted that films get stuck before release due to a lot more reasons than censor board’s obstructions. With a country of over a billion, it’s difficult to appease everyone, it seems. Mehra shared the quagmire Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixRang de Basanti found itself in, when the ministries found it uncomfortable to portray the crash of MiG 21. The audience was in splits listening to his ‘moment of shake’, when he said, ‘My legs were shaking when I screened it to ministers and chiefs of forces in Delhi, not because I was concerned about the ban on the film.  But who gets a chance to screen one’s movie to a gathering of that sort.’ Mehra was later honored at the 75 years of celebration of air force for his efforts. He confesses that one cannot cross the line under the garb of creativity. That was a one-off remark coming from a director of his stature. In the wake of restraining orders on movies like Vishwaroopam and the likes, from the legal front, Amit Nayak talked of constitutional provisions that do not allow pre censorship of a film before its exhibition after once it is certified by the censor board.Though the discussion didn’t allow for a fair share of interaction with the audience, in the last few minutes, questions were pointed towards lack of representation of SC/ST commission, animal welfare boards or any such bodies  on the panel that block the passage of films post certification. We also felt that their take could add another layer to the panel discussion. Luv Ranjan the director of Pyar ka Panchama gauged the sentiments and appropriately summed up that everything is bound to offend somebody or the other. The trouble accentuates when you do not want to discus the problem. For that one sentiment, at a small level, the panel discussions at Siri Fort are allowing for a responsible exchange of ideas on things unsaid and unheard about the movies. While filmmakers rued the role certain factions play in threatening and harassing their creativity; they also lauded the role of censor board that has moved on from being an autocratic censor board to a certifying authority, open to dialogue. The last question for the evening popped up a relevant take on Indian cinema while it celebrates its 100 years with a huge fanfare: When would Indian cinema go beyond its national issues to reflect upon a global theme? With an off the cuff, ‘Why not!’ Mehra wrapped up the discussion. Perhaps, the answer lies in the films that will probably be prompted by such discussions.last_img read more

State government mulls mat hub in Vidyasagar Industrial Park

first_imgKolkata: The state government is planning to come up with a mat (madur) hub at the Vidyasagar Industrial park in Kharagpur, to give a big boost to the industry. A portion of the land at the industrial park has already been earmarked for setting up the proposed hub.Sabang in West Midnapore, located at a distance of less than 40 kilometres from Kharagpur, is known for churning out mats of international quality, which are acclaimed all over the world. More than 55 percent of the total mat production in the country comes from the Sabang block, which has 13 gram panchayats under it.More than 90 percent of the population in Sabang earns a livelihood by manufacturing mats. A village haat (fair) held every Tuesday in Sabang witnesses people from all parts of the state, including the neighbouring states of Odisha and Jharkhand.”Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is familiar with every nook and cranny of Sabang and she is patronising the development of the mat industry. The push given by the state government has ensured that the artisans involved in the manufacture of these mats face no difficulty in getting bank loan. There are 16 nationalised bank branches in Sabang block at present,” said Trinamool Congress MP Manas Bhuniya, who had been a six-time elected MLA from Sabang.When Bhuniya was the state Cottage and Small Scale Industries minister, the Bengal government in 2012 launched the “Natural Fibre Mission” and included the development of skill of artisans and supply of tools and equipment for rural people associated with making products from natural fibres like jute, bamboo, coir, mat, sabai grass, cotton and silk.Several rural haats were conceived and gradually the condition of the people involved with the industry improved. “The Centre has stopped funds for this progamme, but the initiative and interest of the Chief Minister has kept the ball rolling in the state,” he added.Bhuniya’s wife Gita Rani, who is an MLA from Sabang, is also in talks with some NGOs to boost the marketing of the mats. The state government will soon come up with two ‘Karmatirtha’ in Sabang, which will contribute to further development of the industry.The Bengal government had hosted the first edition of Madur (Mat) Mela, solely dedicated to mat weavers, on Digha sea beach in January.last_img read more

Private hospital in New Town faces power cut due to rain

first_imgKolkata: A private hospital meant for children in New Town witnessed power cut following heavy rainfall on Tuesday.According to sources, as the basement of the hospital got waterlogged, the metre room was flooded. Electricity had to be disconnected as it could have caused short-circuit, leading to an untoward incident.Since Tuesday evening, the power had gone off at the hospital. Later, it was restored only in some portions of the hospital. To ease the problem, the hospital authority shifted a good number of patients to their Park Street branch within a short period of time. Several guardians of the patients were agitated. Later, the hospital authority restored power in the portion where patients were staying with the help of a generator. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to sources, the authority has been asked to check whether their drainage system is working properly.An HIDCO official said: “The pump at their basement could not work properly as the area was waterlogged due to heavy rain. It happened to other major buildings in New Town as well on Tuesday.””Due to unnatural rain on Tuesday, the water went down to our basement. After being informed, the authority helped us. As a security measure, connection was cut off. Though it can be restored, we are not doing it before the basement area gets totally dry,” said Bijay Dwibedi, a high ranked official from the hospital authority on Wednesday.last_img read more

Theme of maya to shape pandal of North Kolkata Puja committee

first_imgKolkata: The theme of this year’s Durga Puja of Purba Kalikata Sarbojanin Durgotsab Committee of Narkeldanga in North Kolkata is maya, the central theme of Indian philosophy.Conceptualised by artist Swapan Sarkar, the lighting arrangement has been made by Saurabh Sanyal to implement the theme. The idol has been made by Sanatan Paul. Noted music director Kalyan Sen Barat has composed the theme music. Fishing net, poles of different sizes made by bamboo and human palms made of plaster of Paris symbolising invitation of people to the non-permanent virtual world will be put up as the theme’s design elements. Work is going on round the clock to complete the pandal. “Our only problem is the unpredictability of rain. We have covered the entire area where the artisans are giving final touches to the pandal and to meet the deadline, bright sunny days are needed,” said Subhrokanti Lodh, the spokesperson of the committee. The lights will create special effects and that will create an ambience of a virtual world. “We have selected the theme as only real knowledge can help us to get over violence and jealousy which have affected society. During Durga Puja we pray for peace and prosperity and an end of evil,” said Lodh. The community puja will enter its 72nd year in 2018. The main thoroughfare near the pandal was closed for many years due to the construction work of East-West Metro. The road has now been thrown open to traffic. The organisers feel that several people will visit the pandal and appreciate the theme and ambience. Maya is the most important concept in Indian philosophy. “The world is illusory because it is non-permanent. The world around is like a “snake-rope” illusion. People see a rope and take it to be a snake. They fail to see the non-permanence of the world because of ignorance, which is dispelled only when true knowledge comes. Because of ignorance there is shameless ego and people tend to differentiate on the basis on caste, creed, sex and religion. Real knowledge refines individuals and the Upanishads have asked people to follow the path of true knowledge,” are some of the tenets of the concept. Lodh said: “To save people from the destructive traits, the knowledge of the real world is needed and we will use the platform of Durga Puja to create awareness on this among the people.”last_img read more

Agriculture dept set to ramp up production of Tulaipanji rice in North

first_imgKolkata: The state Agriculture department is all set to cultivate Tulaipanji rice on a much larger scale in North Dinajpur district. The use of paddy transplanter machine on a pilot basis for sowing the seeds of the indigenous rice variety on a 3 acre land at Kalua in Hemtabad has resulted in 20 percent more production of the variety.”From next year, we will use the technology for large-scale cultivation of this rice variety in Chopra and Itahar. The process of identifying the areas for cultivation is on. The variety is suited to grow in places adjacent to the river, as the location is congenial for the aroma of the rice,” a senior official of the Agriculture department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the demand for rice varieties like Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog is high throughout the country. The use of the paddy transplanter technology was started in August this year and till November, the production has seen an increase of 20 percent. Tulaipanji is cultivated in the Raiganj, Kaliaganj, Hemtabad and Karandighi blocks of Uttar Dinajpur district and Kushmandi block of Dakshin Dinajpur district. However, the production is lesser than the demand, as a result of which the price is beyond what common people can afford. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed us to take measures to ensure that aromatic varieties like Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog come within the reach of common people. For this, we have to increase production”, state Agriculture minister Asish Banerjee said. As per figures available with the district administration of North Dinajpur, Tulaipanji was cultivated on 6,700 hectares in 2017-18, compared to 5,400 hectares in 2016-17 and 4,600 hectares in 2015-16, registering a growth of 45 percent in three years. The production of Tulaipanji has also gradually gone up. From 10,120 million tonnes in 2015-16 to 14,740 million tonnes in 2017-18 in the district. “We are in constant touch with the North Bengal Agriculture University and seeking their opinion in boosting cultivation of Tulaipanji in North Bengal. We have already started the cultivation of both Tulaipanji and Gobindobhog in certain areas of Malda,” Banerjee said. Gobindabhog rice, which is primarily cultivated in East Burdwan’s Raina, is also being cultivated in Sagar and Patharpratima in South 24-Parganas and parts of Bankura district.last_img read more