Wildlife & Biodiversity

Global Eco Watch: A cooling event caused rice to spread across Asia 4,200 years ago

Down To Earth brings you the top happenings in the world of global ecology

By DTE Staff
Published: Monday 18 May 2020

A major global cooling event some 4,200 years ago led to the dispersal of rice from China to all parts of Asia, a new study has found.

The study, conducted by an international team of researchers, reconstructed the historical movement of rice across Asia using whole-genome sequences of more than 1,400 varieties of rice, coupled with geography, archaeology, and historical climate data.

The event, known as the ‘4.2k event’ caused the japonica variety of rice to disperse from China to tropical southeast Asia as well as temperate northern Asia such northern China, Korea and Japan.

The other major variety of Asian rice, namely indica, originated in the lower Ganges valley 4,000 years ago and spread to China.

The researchers also found that temperature, rather than water availability and rainfall, was the key determinant in rice diversity.

New study shows how farmlands affect the spread of bee diseases

A new study in upstate New York has found that landscapes play a major role in determining the spread of bee diseases.

The study makes use of empirical data and mathematical modelling. It shows how surrounding landscapes might affect the ways that bees and flowers interact, and how interconnected networks of plants and pollinators influence disease spread in bees.

The findings are important because bee diseases have contributed to pollinator declines worldwide.

For the study, the researchers, from Cornell University, visited 11 sites surrounded by farmland. They gathered data on the bees and the plant species found in the locations.

Hyena injured by snare trap near Gurugram operated upon

A five-year-old male striped hyena underwent surgery after being severely injured due to being caught in a snare trap in a village near Gurugram recently.

The animal was found by locals in Mandawar village on May 12, and rescued by members of a wildlife non-profit and the district wildlife department.

It had lacerations and had bled profusely from the tongue and the mouth. It is currently under observation and being administered painkillers and antibiotics.

The spot where the hyena was found is part of a major wildlife corridor that stretches from Gurugram to Sariska in the Aravalli hill range.

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