It has been a busy few weeks in Skukuza, Kruger National Park for Dr Benjamin Wigley from who recently joined the SECOSUD II team. Dr Wigley helped to organize and facilitate a savanna plant functional trait workshop (27th – 29th February 2020) which brought together a group of scientists from the worlds different savannas to finalize and test some of the new and exciting functional traits that will be included in a new handbook that aims to standardize the sampling of plant functional traits that are especially relevant to savanna and grassland ecosystems.
During the International Savanna Networking Meeting held in Skukuza (1-5th March 2020), Dr Wigley presented the findings from research undertaken in Kenya which showed that the long-term removal of herbivores in semi-arid savanna resulted in a significant increase in soil carbon sequestration and surprisingly most of this soil carbon was derived from grasses not trees. This work has serious implications for large-scale tree planting programs (e.g. AFR100) which aim to plant up vast areas of African Drylands with trees. Dr Wigley also presented at the African Forestry and Wildlife Congress held in Skukuza from the 9-13th March 2020. In this presentation he outlined the findings from another study undertaken in Kruger National Park which outlined the importance of fires in savanna systems. This work showed that the removal of fire resulted in significant decreases in bark recovery in an iconic African tree species – the removal of fire resulted in increased colonization of damaged areas by ants which impeded bark recovery. Details of the published articles can be found below.
Wigley, B.J., Augustine, D.J., Coetsee, C., Ratnam, J. and Sankaran, M., 2020. Grasses continue to trump trees at soil carbon sequestration following herbivore exclusion in a semi‐arid African savanna. Ecology, p.e03008.
Wigley, B.J., Coetsee, C., Kruger, L.M., Ratnam, J. and Sankaran, M., 2019. Ants, fire, and bark traits affect how African savanna trees recover following damage. Biotropica, 51(5), pp.682-691.
SECOSUD II Project has organised a workshop to present the mid-term result of the activities, on September 27th. The workshop takes place in the framework of the Symposium on Biodiversity and Development, held by the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane – UEM Campus in Maputo, from the 26th to the 28th of September.
Continue reading “SECOSUD II – Workshop of presentation of mid-term results”
On September 8th, 9th and 11th, 2018, in the framework of the existing partnership between the Biodiversity Information for Development Programme (BID) and the SECOSUD II Project, a workshop was held for training on the species conservation status assessments (IUCN Red Lists) and use of the tool “Integrated Publishing Toolkit” (IPT) for the publication of primary biodiversity data in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) Portal.
The workshop took place in the LMA Herbarium of the Institute of Agricultural Research of Mozambique, Maputo, and was attended by research assistants from the BID Programme and the SECOSUD II Project, which work on the digitization of biodiversity data in the partner institutions, namely:
The aim of the training is to develop skills in the application of IUCN criteria and categories for the assessment of the conservation status of priority species and improve the skills in using the IPT tool for the publication of primary biodiversity data in the GBIF portal.
On May 14 2018 , within the scope of the Biodiversity Network of Mozambique initiative, the SECOSUD II Project created a new biodiversity data laboratory in the Natural History Museum.
Continue reading “New Biodiversity data laboratory created at the Natural History Museum, Maputo”
In the framework of BioNoMo (Biodiversity Network of Mozambique) initiative, SECOSUD II project has organised a training course on the use and programming of R Open Source software for statistical analysis of biological data, held at the UEM Department of Biological Sciences from November 20 to 23, 2017.
Continue reading “Training course on the use of R for the statistical analysis of biological data”
In the framework of the MoU recently signed with UNISWA and SNTC, we are exporting the BioNoMo initiative, aimed at creating networks of primary biodiversity data providers, to Swaziland. The final objective is to create a portal to host research-grade biodiversity data from various national sources and provide these data to the public to support scientific research, environmental planning, reporting and citizen science. As a first step, a training course on biodiversity data bases has been held at UNISWA Faculty of Science from October 30 to November 3, 2017.
Continue reading “Foundations of biodiversity data network in Swaziland – First training completed”
In the framework of BioNoMo initiative, SECOSUD II participated to a call issued by the Biodiversity Information for Development (BID) programme of the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), the global one-data research infrastructure funded by the world’s governments and aimed at providing access to biodiversity data. The proposed project “Mobilizing primary biodiversity data for Mozambican species of conservation concern” is leaded by IIAM and also involves the UEM Herbarium, the Institute of Fishery Research (IIP), MHN, and the Entomology Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security (MASA). An extra budget of 40.000 Euros has been made available by GBIF-BID programme to help the digitization of data related to plant and animal species of particular conservation concern. The data will be uploaded into BioNoMo, significantly increasing the amount of information made available through the portal.
Visit the Facebook page of Moz BID Programme
One of the collaborators of the project SECOSUD II Italian Cooperation attended in the practical training workshop of 6 days on advanced bioinformatics, which took place from 19 to 24 August 2017 in Gorongosa National Park, under the leadership of Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, deputy Director of E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Laboratory.
The workshop provided a learning forum for the application of bioinformatics to the participants from different areas of Mozambique and representatives from five of the country’s main educational institutions. Continue reading “Advanced Bioinformatics Training Workshop”
From 24th to 27th of July 2017 the SECOSUD II Project has organised and executed an on-the-job training course for the personnel of the Faculty of Agronomy and Forest Engineering (UEM FAEF), of the National Administration of Conservation Areas (ANAC) and of the Maputo Special Reserve (REM). This training was held in Maputo, at the Universidade Eduardo Mondlane (UEM), and has focused the replication of the Fire Management Methodology and Approach used by the Kruger National Park (KNP) for the Limpopo National Park (LNP).
Continue reading “Fire Management System for the Limpopo National Park – Training for the production of the Fire Scar Map”