Six decades to survey East Africa’s flora

first_imgThe primeval Bwindi forests are home to many of the continent’s gorillas. (Image: Wikimedia Commons) The completed series of the Flora of Tropical East Africa.(Image: Dr Henk Beentje) The newly described Solanum polhillii Voronts., a type of wild spiny aubergine named after botanist Roger Polhill, is restricted to partly shaded limestone savanna habitats sheltered from herbivory. (Image: Dr Maria Vorontsova, Kew) MEDIA CONTACTS • Bronwyn Friedlander  PR manager, Kew  +44 20 8332 5607 or +44 788 195 3420 RELATED ARTICLES • Kirstenbosch best place to picnic • Kew shows Africa’s plant wealth • Mount Mabu yields hidden bounty • EC to get first botanical garden • Teaching people to work with natureJanine ErasmusAn epic survey of the flora of tropical East Africa is now complete, 60 years after it began.The study was initiated in 1948 by scientists from the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, and is known as Flora of Tropical East Africa (FTEA).The survey covered over 12 000 plant species from Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, in habitats ranging from desert to wetland, and at altitudes from sea level to the continent’s highest point – this equates to about 4% of the world’s flora.The Eastern Arc Mountains in Kenya and Tanzania – a chain that starts in the northeast near Mount Kilimanjaro and continues down almost as far as Zambia – the lush coastal forests of Tanzania and Kenya, and the region from Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park across Lake Victoria to the largely untouched Bwindi rainforests in Uganda were areas of particular interest, as they are renowned for the high diversity of both flora and fauna.The Kew Drylands: Africa team, which managed the project and works in 16 sub-Saharan countries, claims the FTEA is the largest regional floral survey ever completed.Over 1 500 of the species uncovered were new to science, according to Kew, and in the last four years alone 114 of this number were described.The first FTEA data were published in 1952, and the final parts of the catalogue were eventually revealed in September 2012.The latter stages of the project were overseen by Dutch botanist Henk Beentje, who also served as current editor of the series. He said at the launch in September of the final volume, that the catalogue is of vital importance not only to conservationists, but to those who work in the fields of forestry, agriculture, horticulture, and wildlife management – now and in the future.With deforestation an ever-present threat, conflicts often arise over the use of land for agriculture versus natural plant growth, Beentje said, and more often than not the natural plant growth will generally lose the fight.“There’s not much we can do about it, except keep conservationists informed as to how to identify the plant, where the plant grows, what its biggest threats are, and how to combat the threats.”Breaking new scientific groundThe project’s original duration was thought to be around 15 years, but scientists soon realised that cataloguing the larger plant families would take time. They also realised that the area’s floral richness and the total number of species growing there had been sorely underestimated, and that a new system of collecting was needed.Now, 60 years later, say the Kew team, the East African area is one of the best collected regions, in terms of floral samples, on the continent – thanks to a large pool of contributors from, among other countries, Kenya, Uganda, South Africa, Egypt, Denmark, Zimbabwe, Spain and Poland.The completed survey is invaluable in that it provides checklists of the area’s plant diversity, offers scientists a solid taxonomic base from which to work, and is an important source of data for conservation purposes as it pinpoints the species that are endemic to small areas as well as the areas of high botanical diversity.Besides the contributors from Britain and 20 other countries – 135 authors in total – the work is extensively illustrated by 211 artists. In addition, said Beentje, many more people, including locals, have received training in scientific techniques.“Now all further work on the wild plants of this region will be built on a solid foundation,” he said. “Not just botanical work, but work on local uses by local people, ecology, vegetation work, zoology and, of course, conservation.”The Kew team is also working on a similar project involving Southern African flora, titled Flora Zambesiaca.last_img read more

Ebay Seller Convicted, Fined for “Shill Bidding”

first_imgTop Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Tags:#e-commerce#news#web mike melansoncenter_img What’s to stop you from posting an auction on online auction site Ebay and then bidding on it yourself from another fake account to boost the price? Nothing, if you don’t mind the idea of breaking the law and possibly facing jail time and a $7,500 fine when you get caught and convicted. Paul Barrett was the first U.K. seller “to be prosecuted for artificially inflating prices by bidding on his own eBay auctions has been told to pay £5,000 in fines and costs, and ordered to do 250 hours community service,” according to an article in The Register. Barrett first plead guilty to the charges last April, arguing that he did not “realize bidding against himself was illegal”. He was convicted of ten offenses of a consumer protection law passed in the U.K. in 2008 and 2009 and could have been fined up to $7,500 for each offense. According to the Register article, Barrett could have also faced jail time, but Judge Peter Benson said a clean record kept Barrett from behind bars.Ebay spokesperson Vanessa Canzini told the Register that Ebay is “extremely pleased” with Barrett’s sentence.“While this case was not solely about shill bidding, we hope that it highlights how seriously we consider the practice of artificially increasing prices. This practice is not only prohibited on eBay as it damages the integrity and fairness of trading on our site, but it is also illegal. We continue to invest over £6 million every year in industry leading technology to proactively detect shill bidding. We will always work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure that, on the rare occasion someone attempts to follow in Barrett’s footsteps, they will be stopped and will face the consequences.”In this case, it doesn’t seem that Ebay needed its multi-million dollar software, as Barrett used the same contact information and IP address to place the shill bids and was discovered not by this type of technology, but instead because the odometer reading on a minibus he sold had been tampered with. The resulting investigation led to the discovery of Barrett’s artificial price inflation. A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Told to quit, Benedicto finishes race despite adversities

first_imgNBA: Shaq blames ‘the man upstairs’ for his poor free throw shooting Church, environmentalists ask DENR to revoke ECC of Quezon province coal plant It wasn’t the result the multi-time winner had in mind, but it’s a performance he can live with.“I can say that I’m still successful. I’m proud of myself that I was able to finish the race,” he said.Another source of Benedicto’s pride are his fellow competitors like winner Banjo Norte, who are showing that there are more Filipino triathletes capable of competing with the world’s best.“I’m glad that they’re there and are all targeting me. I’m proud that they get a chance to win. I’m happy that they want to beat me and that inspires the younger crop of triathletes who also wants to beat them. We all get stronger and who knows, we’ll be able to compete among the elites in the future,” he said.But Benedicto made it clear that he has a lot of gas left in his tank, and his failure in the Cebu tilt just motivates him to strive harder in the next races.ADVERTISEMENT National Coffee Research Development and Extension Center brews the 2nd National Coffee Education Congress NGCP on security risk: Chinese just technical advisers View comments LATEST STORIES Trump strips away truth with hunky topless photo tweet DILG, PNP back suspension of classes during SEA Games Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss PLAY LIST 02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Gamescenter_img MOST READ “People are telling me to no longer finish the race, to give up. But in my mind, I’m number one in the Asian elite so the pressure is different. All I wanted was to finish the race,” he said in Filipino.The 33-year-old Benedicto felt a slight pain, which was later ruled as spasms, midway through the bike course when he almost hit a competitor who suddenly changed his path.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“That was when I felt the fatigue,” he shared. “Later on, I felt that my ribs were hurting. I was struggling to breathe. I put ice on my chest but people are telling me to no longer finish this.”August Benedicto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netDespite the chest pains, Benedicto willed on and ended up eighth in his category, joyously crossing the finish line before falling to the arms of Sunrise Events founder Wilfred Steven Uytengsu. FEU Auditorium’s 70th year celebrated with FEU Theater Guild’s ‘The Dreamweavers’ Robredo should’ve resigned as drug czar after lack of trust issue – Panelo August Benedicto. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netLAPU-LAPU CITY — Though August Benedicto failed to make it to the podium in the Asian elite category of the 2017 Cobra Energy Drink Ironman 70.3 Philippines on Sunday, the four-time winner still considers his run as a success.After all, Benedicto had to fight through chest pains midway through the swim-bike-run course just to finish the race.ADVERTISEMENT “They also become my motivation because I want to get back at them next time. It drives me harder. It makes me double or triple my effort to beat them the next time out,” he said.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’last_img read more

Philip Paniamogan shoots NLEX past Blackwater

first_imgSports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Bloomberg: US would benefit from more, not fewer, immigrants MOST READ View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss NLEX Road Warriors. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netNLEX broke loose in the middle quarters then, held off Blackwater in the fourth to win, 122-101, in the 2019 PBA Philippine Cup Sunday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.Sweet-shooting guard Philip Paniamogan scored 17 in the third quarter and equaled his career-high 25 points that went with nine assists and three steals to lead the Road Warriors, who climbed to seventh place in the standings with a 4-5 record.ADVERTISEMENT “We’ve been hitting our stride lately. We had a good game against Alaska then, another good game today. We’ve been playing good defense. At least the last two games, we’ve been consistent with our defense,” said NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao.NLEX big man Poy Erram posted a double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds with two blocks to boot in his first game against his former team while Bong Galanza also had the hot hand with all of his 18 points coming from the outside.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThe Road Warriors took a 29-point lead in the third before the Elite cut it to single digits, 95-86, after a basket by Diego Dario with still 8:15 remaining.NLEX recovered with its outside shooting with Kenneth Ighalo and Galanza hitting timely shots from long distance to put away Blackwater. Iron Man: LA Tenorio sets PBA record with 597 consecutive games played Trump tells impeachment jokes at annual turkey pardon eventcenter_img Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Miguel Romero Polo: Bamboo technology like no other Colombia protesters vow new strike after talks hit snag Galanza hit back-to-back 3-pointers to extend his team’s lead back to 20, 110-90, with only 3:20 left.The Road Warriors made a total of 21 triples and had 32 assists with only 12 turnovers.Allein Maliksi had 20 points while Abu Tratter added 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Elite, who dropped to 2-8.ADVERTISEMENT SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Wintry storm delivers US travel woes before Thanksgiving Google Philippines names new country director LATEST STORIESlast_img read more