Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Africa’s Oldest Baobab Trees Are Dying Suddenly

Africa’s baobab trees, the largest and longest-living flowering plants in the world, are dying at a startling rate...nine of the 13 oldest African baobabs (Adansonia digitata)—all more than 1,000 years old—and five of the six largest individuals have partially or completely died in the last 12 years. While the cause of the die-off is not yet certain, climate change has already been pegged as the likely cause.”

“When around 70% of your 1,500- to 2,000-year-old trees died within 12 years, it certainly is not normal. None of the trees showed obvious signs of infection and the pattern of deaths did not fit what would be expected had the die-off been caused by a contagious disease. We suspect this is associated with increased temperature and drought...”