Baobabs are among the most long-lived and tenacious plants of the Earth.
Nine of the thirteen most ancient baobabs of Africa mysteriously died, and many other trees-centenarians are now in critical condition, the cause of which is unclear, say environmentalists in an article published in the journal Nature Plants.
“We assume that this “epidemic” of deaths linked with the fact that the baobab may not be as resistant to drought as we thought before. On the other hand, such problems were to affect all trees, not only the large and ancient baobab trees,” — says the opening of Sarah Venter (Venter Sarah) from the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg (South Africa).
According to eyewitnesses, the giants of the savannas often survive the incursions of elephants, devours them soft and water-rich core, as well as lightning strikes, droughts and other natural disasters.
Unlike other trees, the baobab has no rings, so their age is almost impossible to define using traditional methods, with the exception of radiocarbon Dating. According to rough estimates of scientists, the most thick and large baobabs, whose diameter is approaching five meters, lived about two thousand years.
It tells Karl von Reden (Karl von Reden), an ecologist from the Institute of Oceanography at woods hole (USA), his team uncovered a mysterious epidemic of deaths among the ancient baobabs accidentally. Scientists initially decided the opposite problem — trying to find out the secrets of longevity and survival of these trees, studying their colonies in different regions of Africa.