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Foresight, hindsight and biodiversity

Brazilian Cerrado Vegetation
Brazilian Cerrado Vegetation
I was looking at the downloads of papers from Annals of Botany over the last year. In the top ten of most downloaded papers was one from 1997 (certainly when I relied on photocopiers rather than PDFs). It was on the Brazilian cerrado vegetation and threats to its biodiversity. I expect this was a paper long before its time, but now the threats to the diversity of this ecosystem are becoming recognized widely. Hopefully we are in time to conserve the 160,000 species the paper estimates are present in this diversity hotspot.

Charcoal burning after clearance of cerrado vegetation
Charcoal burning after clearance of cerrado vegetation

Written by Editor Pat Heslop-Harrison

Pat Heslop-Harrison is Professor of Molecular Cytogenetics and Cell Biology at the University of Leicester. He is also Chief Editor of Annals of Botany.

  • Brazil’s cerrado wins protection, but will it be enough to save the wildlife-rich grassland?
    mongabay.com
    September 15, 2010
    Brazil announced a plan to protect the cerrado, the vast woody savanna that covers 20 percent of the country but has become the nation’s biggest single source of carbon emissions due to conversion for agriculture and cattle pasture, reports Brazil’s Ministry of the Environment.
    Unveiled today in Brasilia, the $200 million initiative establishes the “political framework for the conservation and sustainable use of the most threatened biome in Brazil,” according to a statement released by the ministry …
    http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0915-cerrado_consservation.html

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