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Tropical researchers meet in Bonn

15.02.2007 - (idw) Zoologisches Forschungsinstitut und Museum Alexander Koenig

Between 21 and 25 February, 200 tropical ecologists from North and South America, Africa, Asia, and Europe will be guests of the renowned Alexander Koenig Research Museum. The reason is the 20th Annual Meeting of the Society for Tropical Ecology. In addition to the Koenig Museum, Bonn University (in the form of the Nees Institute for Plant Biodiversity), and the Ministery of Education and Research, have been involved in setting up this international conference. "Tropical Diversity in the Anthropocene", the overall theme of the event, is a subject that connects directly with current concerns about global climate change and its serious consequences for practically all natural habitats on the planet and their inhabitants, including of course humankind.
The tropical regions possess an unparalleled biodiversity. Ninety percent of all terrestrial plants and animals are found exclusively in these warm, moist, equatorial zones.
But dramatic human interventions have meant that each day several hundred square kilometers of pristine rainforest are lost for ever, leading to species extinction on a massive scale. According to the latest scientific calculations, the worldwide population of vertebrates has fallen by about 30% in the last 30 years, and more than half of these extinctions are occurring in tropical rainforests. What makes these figures particularly shocking is that tropical rainforests account for only 6% of the terrestrial ecosystems of our planet.
For the first time representatives of the international environmental organizations based in Bonn will also be attending this interdisciplinary congress. In a direct dialogue between science and politics, the areas of conflict surrounding the utilization and preservation of tropical forests will be the focus of attention.
On Saturday 24 February at 20:00 [8 p.m.] the Society for Tropical Ecology will present a public lecture in the A. Koenig Research Museum. It will be given by Prof. Eckhard Heymann of the German Center for Primate Research in Göttingen, and his subject will be "Primates in Tropical Ecosystems". Entrance is free.

Further information on the conference program can be found at

Or contact:

Prof. Dr. K. -L. Schuchmann
Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum A. Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, 53113 Bonn
Tel.: 0228 / 9122238

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