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No a la guerra! – Otra vez!!

March 20th, 2011 No comments

Otra vez la comunidad internacional, bajo mandato de la ONU, decide iniciar bombardeos contra un país con la excusa de defender la democracia. Otra vez se ataca a un dictador que ha sido armado por los países “salvadores”. Otra vez es un país con grandes riquezas petrolíferas. Esta vez le ha tocado a Libia. Otra vez debemos oponermos a una nueva intervención militar. Porque:

– los conflictos no se resuelven de esta manera. La experiencia y la historia nos han enseñado que sabemos cómo empieza una guerra pero no cómo termina. Sí tenemos claro que como en Irak y Afganistán la gente corriente es quien soporta casi todo el sufrimiento.

–  es hipócrita establecer acuerdos comerciales en la venta de petróleo con Libia desde hace años y no haber pensado en la población civil ni en la democracia antes. La UE y de EEUU se mueven por intereses geoestratégicos y económicos, no por motivos de humanidad.

– es irresponsable, por no decir criminal, vender armas a un país durante años y luego bombardearlo. Europa es quien ha armado principalmente al régimen de Gadafi y en concreto España ha vendido desde 2005 armas por valor de 10,7 millones de euros. Durante el primer semestre de 2010, España exportó a Libia equipamiento militar por valor de 6,8 millones de euros.

La guerra no es, ni ha sido, ni será la solución. Aquellos que han provocado esta situación y que pretenden solucionarla de manera militar no van a conseguir ni la paz ni la democracia. Por eso, otra vez, hay que decir NO A LA GUERRA.

Adaptado de: No a la guerra. Otra vez (Insumissia, 20 de marzo de 2011)

Otros enlaces:

Zapatero vendió armas a Gadafi por valor de 2.000 millones de euros (La Gaceta, 20-03-2011)
– Ver algunas imágenes ilustrativas.
– No a la intervención militar en Libia. No a la guerra (Ecologistas en Acción, 20-03-2011)
ERC pide en el Congreso bloquear la venta de armas a Libia (Europa Press, 25-02-2011)
Si vis pacem, para pacem
Estamos en guerra: mobilizaciones

Australia born to burn – phylogenetic evidence

March 18th, 2011 1 comment

Traditionally wildfires were considered a disturbance linked to the recent history of the Quaternary, and specially linked to the humans. However, evidence are accumulating about the ancient role of wildfires in terrestrial ecosystems [1]. In Australia, the flammable continent, the current believe is that fires started to be important during the onset of seasonal aridity in the Miocene (25 Ma). However, two recent and independent papers demonstrate, using phylogenetic techniques, that fire-dependent traits appeared about 60 Ma ago (early Paleocene), implying that fire was already an effective agent of selection by then. Crisp et al [2] studied the Myrtaceae family and showed that post-fire epicormic resprouting (typical of many eucalypts) is an ancient trait linked to the flammable sclerophyll biomes originated about 60-62 Ma. He et al. [3] studied the Banksia genus (Proteaceae) and showed that serotiny (fire dependent dispersal; figure below) and dead floret retention around the cones (enhanced flammability around serotinous cones) co-originate with the first appearance of Banksia 60.8 Ma ago. The coincidence of the two independent papers, using two different taxa (Myrtaceae and Banksia) is amazing, and clearly suggests that fire was a selective force in Australia during the Paleocene.  These papers are part of the accumulating research on the prominent and ancient role of fire in shaping plant species and biodiversity [1, 4 ].

References
[1] Pausas J.G. & Keeley J.E. 2009. A Burning Story: The role of fire in the history of life. BioScience 59: 593-601. [doipdfpost slides]

[2] Crisp MD, Burrows GE, Cook LG, Thornhill AH, Bowman DMJS. 2011. Flammable biomes dominated by eucalypts originated at the Cretaceous-Palaeogene boundary. Nature Communications 2: 193. [doi]

[3] He T, Lamont BB, Downes KS. 2011. Banksia born to burn. New Phytol. [doi]

[4] Bond, W. J. and Scott, A. C. 2010. Fire and the spread of flowering plants in the Cretaceous. New Phytol. 188: 1137–1150 [post]

Figure: Banksia cone opened by the fire to release seeds (serotiny).

Conservation of cork oak ecosystems

March 14th, 2011 No comments

Mediterranean cork oak (Quercus suber) savannas, which are found only in southwestern Europe and northwestern Africa, are ecosystems of high socioeconomic and conservation value. Characterized by sparse tree cover and a diversity of understory vegetation, these ecosystems require active management and use by humans to ensure their continued existence. The most important product of these savannas is cork, a non-timber forest product that is periodically harvested without requiring tree felling. Market devaluation of, and lower demand for, cork are causing a decline in management, or even abandonment of cork oak savannas. Subsequent shrub encroachment into the savanna’s grassland components reduces biodiversity and degrades the services provided by these ecosystems. In contrast, poverty-driven overuse is degrading cork oak savannas in northwestern Africa. “Payment for ecosystem services” schemes, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation and enhancement of carbon stocks (REDD+) programs, could produce novel economic incentives to promote sustainable use and conservation of Mediterranean cork oak savanna ecosystems in both Europe and Africa.

Bugalho M.N., Caldeira M.C., Pereira J.S., Aronson J., & Pausas J.G. 2011. Human-shaped Cork oak savannas require human use to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 9: 278-286 [doi | pdf] [featured on the cover: pdffoto]  podcast

Aronson J., Pereira J.S., Pausas J.G. (eds). 2009. Cork Oak Woodlands on the Edge: conservation, adaptive management, and restoration. Island Press, Washington DC. 315 pp. [the book]

More posts on oaks.

Foto: D. Crespo (Portugal)

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