Afromont Research Digest | February 2017

Afromont Research Digest | February 2017

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201702 TemplateAfroMont, a knowledge sharing platform, was initiated in 2007 by the Mountain Research Initiative (MRI) to focus research attention on the diverse issues and challenges facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa. AfroMont is an online media platform, now with eight years of activities, all with a focus on Africa mountain research and Sustainable Mountain Development (SMD) in African countries. We follow advances in African mountain research and issues including news and specialized opinion articles covering all aspects of global change in mountains.

Photo credit: Drakensberg Scene, Great Escarpment, South Africa. Dr Clinton Carbutt, Plant Scientist at Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, South Africa.





AfroMont Editorial February 2017

201702 Editorial1

Of interest is an upscale in research that investigates climate change and environmental change in the distant past as a way of understanding and preparing for the climate change we are about to experience. This vast field of research also looks at the beginnings of agriculture and agriculture in novel (especially arid) climates and the shift away from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle. The earth’s climate has changed drastically in the past, leading to extinctions and range shifts for many species as it got colder and drier during the ice ages, but also creating many opportunities for species to exploit new niches. Humans have experienced many of these changes, most notably the previous two ice ages (the first as Homo neanderthalensis and Homo heidelbergensis and the second, as both H. neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens).

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University of Witwatersrand study confirms the existence of a ‘lost continent’ under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius

Lava-covered piece of continent is an ancient remnant, left over from the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

Scientists have confirmed the existence of a “lost continent” under the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius that was left-over by the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which started about 200 million years ago.

The piece of crust, which was subsequently covered by young lava during volcanic eruptions on the island, seems to be a tiny piece of ancient continent, which broke off from the island of Madagascar, when Africa, India, Australia and Antarctica split up and formed the Indian Ocean.

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Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya

UCL Press has announced the publication of a brand new open access book that may be of interest to readers of this list.

Conservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage in Kenya (2017).
Edited by Anne-Marie Deisser and Mugwima Njuguna

Download free:

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Mobilizing biosciences in Africa: Training and Workshops

BecA-ILRI Hub Monthly Review
Mobilizing biosciences in and for Africa's agricultural development - Upcoming training and workshops

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Editor's choice: selected new literature

  • A global estimate of carbon stored in the world’s mountain grasslands and shrublands, and the implications for climate policy.
  • Mountains of Our Future Earth: Defining Priorities for Mountain Research. A Synthesis From the 2015 Perth III Conference.
  • Filling the Data Gaps in Mountain Climate Observatories Through Advanced Technology, Refined Instrument Siting, and a Focus on Gradients.
  • Framing the Human Dimensions of Mountain Systems: Integrating Social Science Paradigms for a Global Network of Mountain Observatories.
  • Mapping landscape beta diversity of plants across KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa , for aiding conservation planning.
  • From REDD plus forests to green landscapes? Analyzing the emerging integrated landscape approach discourse in the UNFCCC.
  • Soil nutrient balances under diverse agro-ecological settings in Ethiopia.
  • Increasing aeolian dust deposition to snowpacks in the Rocky Mountains inferred from snowpack, wet deposition, and aerosol chemistry.
  • The chemical composition and fluxes of atmospheric wet deposition at four sites in South Africa.
  • The mechanics of head-supported load carriage by Nepalese porters.
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AfroMont was initiated to focus research attention on the diverse problems facing the mountainous regions of sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, as well as share information that may lead to the development of science-based solutions required for sustainable mountain development in the long term.

Anyone with an interest in African mountains and mountain research can contribute to this Digest, or to the blogs or the website. Please liaise with or send short concise material and photographs to Dr Sue Taylor. The AfroMont Research Digest is sent out every month to about 700 email addresses of the AfroMont Network.

Yours sincerely,
Dr Sue Taylor