Research developed at the Wageningen University can help to prevent a massive loss of tropical rainforest flora biodiversity.
Brazil is the country with the highest number of tree species in the world and it is also the main funder of this research project. The PhD research, performed by Alexandre Marques, aimed to study the non-storable seeds. These seeds die upon desiccation and they are estimated to be present in almost half of the tropical rainforest plant species.
Farming, logging, mining among other human activities have caused massive losses of tropical rainforests. There is only 5% left of the original Brazilian Atlantic forest, 80% of the Amazon and this scenario is worsening. Without an effective method for storing these seeds, we will lose much of plant biodiversity. Alexandre’s research focused on the physiology, evolution and genetics of these plants in order to support the development of methods to overcome their storability issue.