In this episode:
00:45 Tree islands bring biodiversity benefits for oil-palm plantation
Global demand for palm oil has resulted in huge expansion of the palm plantations needed to produce it, causing widespread tropical deforestation and species loss. To address this, researchers planted islands of native trees among the palms in a large plantation, and showed that this approach increases ecosystem health, without affecting crop yields. The team say that while protecting existing tropical rainforests should remain a priority, tree islands represent a promising way to restore ecosystems.
Research article: Zemp et al.
09:42 Research Highlights
The oldest identified ‘blueprints’ depict vast hunting traps with extraordinary precision, and fossil evidence that pliosaurs swimming the Jurassic seas may have been as big as whales.
Research Highlight: Oldest known ‘blueprints’ aided human hunters 9,000 years ago
Research Highlight: This gigantic toothy reptile terrorized the Jurassic oceans
12:08 Briefing Chat
We discuss some highlights from the Nature Briefing. This time, how shredded nappies could partially replace sand in construction, and how CRISPR helped crack the mystery of the death cap mushrooms’s deadly toxin.
Nature News: World’s first house made with nappy-blended concrete
Nature News: Deadly mushroom poison might now have an antidote — with help from CRISPR
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