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Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

Scientists shocked by mysterious deaths of ancient trees

Science
A tree regarded as the icon of the African savannah is dying in mysterious circumstances.International scientists have discovered that most of the oldest and largest African baobabs have died over the past 12 years.They suspect the demise may be linked to climate change, although they have no direct evidence of this.The tree can grow to an enormous size, and may live hundreds if not thousands of years.The researchers, from universities in South Africa, Romania and the US, say the loss of the trees is "an event of an unprecedented magnitude".Revealing the findings in the journal, Nature Plants, they say the deaths were not caused by an epidemic."We suspect that the demise of monumental baobabs may be associated at least in part wi...
Pollution hits fungi that nourish trees – study

Pollution hits fungi that nourish trees – study

Science
Scientists are warning that pollution could be starving Europe's trees of vital nutrients by damaging essential fungi.The fungi live on the roots of trees, supplying them with minerals and water.Current pollution limits may not be strict enough to protect the forest fungi, say researchers.Signs of tree malnutrition, such as discoloured or missing leaves, have been seen across Europe's forests.Loss of fungi may be a factor, according to the study, published in the journal, Nature."If we care about the condition of our forests - what shape they're in - we can't just look above (the ground)," Dr Martin Bidartondo, from the department of life sciences at Imperial College London and Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, told BBC News."We need to look below - we need to ...