Patrut et al. report that 8 of the 13 oldest and 5 of the 6 largest African Baobab (Adansonia digitata L.) trees, known for their enormous size and great longevity, have died (or at least their largest and/or oldest parts/stems have collapsed and died). Included in the dead are Panke, the oldest Baobab in the world at more than 2500 years, and Platland, the largest and best-known Baobab. These deaths have caused serious confusion and great concern because the cause of these significant losses is not known. Uncertainty of how, in a matter of years, something unknown can destroy what for millennia has survived puts other regions that have this type of specimens on alert. For the moment, it is not possible to determine the cause of these sudden deaths, but everything seems to point to the recent climatic changes in Africa. (Summary by Juan Alberto Mar Arriaga and Maria Julissa Ek-Ramos). Nature Plants 10.1038/s41477-018-0170-5.
You might also like
Perspective: Farming with crops and rocks to address global climate, food and soil security (Nature Plants)
Field of Genes: Uncovering EGRINs (Environmental Gene Regulatory Influence Networks) in Rice That Function during High-Temperature and Drought Stress