HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Frankincense trees overexploited for Christmas scent

Current rates of tapping frankincense - which according to the Bible was given to the baby Jesus by the three wise men at Christmas and which will feature in thousands of Nativity plays in coming days - are endangering the fragrant resin's sustained production, ecologists have warned. Writing in the December issue of Journal of Applied Ecology, ecologists from the Netherlands and Eritrea say that over tapping the trees results in them producing fewer, less viable seeds.

Frankincense is an aromatic hardened wood resin obtained by tapping Boswellia trees. For thousands of years, frankincense has been hugely important both socially and economically as an ingredient in incense and perfumes. But, say the ecologists, its production in the Horn of Africa is declining because Boswellia woodlands are failing to regenerate.

The ecologists hypothesised that poor regeneration was due to the fact that intensive tapping meant that the trees were diverting too much carbohydrate into resin, at the expense of reproductive organs, such as flowers, fruit and seeds. Working in south-western Eritrea, they tested the hypothesis by looking at how many seeds intensively tapped trees produced, and their germination rates, compared with untapped trees.

According to one of the authors of the study, Professor Frans Bongers of Wageningen University: "This study strongly suggests that there is competition between investment of carbohydrates in sexual reproductive structures and synthesis of frankincense in Boswellia papyrifera. At all study sites, trees subject to experimental tapping produced fewer flowers, fruits and seeds than trees that were exempt from tapping. Furthermore, tapped trees produced smaller fruits with seeds of lower weight and reduced vitality than non-tapped trees."

Based on their findings the authors say that, for production to be sustainable, the way that frankincense is tapped needs to be changed. "In order to control the decline
'"/>

Contact: Becky Allen
beckyallen@ntlworld.com
44-012-235-70016
Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
12-Dec-2006


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Plastic that grows on trees
2. Human ancestors learned to walk upright in the trees, say experts
3. Lessons from the orangutans: Upright walking may have begun in the trees
4. Seeing the trees for the forest: WHRC scientists creating national biomass and carbon dataset
5. Mystery of fossilized trees is solved
6. How trees manage water in arid environments
7. Squirrels winning at outwitting trees survival strategy
8. Software, evolution and micro-inversions -- improving the building of phylogenetic trees
9. A chilling solution: Measuring below-ground carbon without destroying trees
10. Mode of seed dispersal greatly shapes placement of rainforest trees
11. Genome info from plant destroyers could save trees, beans and chocolate

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/12/2020)... ... August 12, 2020 , ... ... that are ideal for public health agencies of all sizes. With a focus ... helping at-risk individuals find appropriate health care, Mosio helps public health departments automate ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 2020 , ... BioFactura, Inc. today announced a $1 million ... & Technology Office—Chemical and Biological Defense (JSTO-CBD) of the Department of Defense (DoD). ... efficient mammalian cell culture-based bioprocess suitable to meet surge requirement needs for rapid ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... ... Gene Therapy Regulation, An FDAnews Webinar, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 • 1:30 p.m.-3:00 ... but what is the most effective way to complete one? Will the study ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:8/15/2020)... ... August 13, 2020 , ... Inc. magazine today ... most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a ... segment—its independent small businesses. Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, Patagonia, and many other ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... August 03, 2020 , ... ERT, the ... CEO has been named one of the 100 most inspiring individuals in the ... honorees are selected based on how they have inspired their colleagues and affected ...
(Date:7/31/2020)... Mass. (PRWEB) , ... July 29, 2020 , ... ... wire that can combine up to three different materials for use with CRM, ... combine up to three materials to meet specific design requirements, performance, and cost ...
(Date:7/22/2020)... ... ... Join experts from Reed Tech , Gary Saner, Sr. Manager, Information Solutions Life ... webinar on Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 11am EDT (4pm BST/UK). , The ... medical devices, the NMPA has departments dealing with medical device registration (pre-market approvals) and ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: