Two exciting seminars on Maya Nut tree at Kew

Participants on one of many Maya Nut capacity building courses funded by the Darwin Initiative. This one was at Versailles, Chichigalpa, in Nicaragua. Image: Erika Vohman, Maya Nut Institute

On the 24th and 25th of April Erika Vohman (CEO of the Maya Nut Institute) and Mike Rowley a grad student at the University of Bournemouth gave two great talks at the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and its subsidiary, the Millennium Seed Bank at Wakehurst in Sussex. Erika spoke about our Darwin Initiative project with the tropical tree Brosimum alicastrum or Maya Nut which finished last month within the context of focusing sustainable development projects in Central America on women and markets.

The slide above shows the role of Maya Nut (Brosimum alicastrum) and livelihoods in the sustainable use and conservation of forests in Central America. Our project invested in workshops and the generation of knowledge to support its sustainable use.

Mike Rowley’s talk was on a completely different aspect of Brosimum alicastrum, the production of calcium oxalate crystals in its cells and the eventual conversion of these to mineral form by bacteria, as calcium carbonate, after the tree roots die. This is a very exciting phenomenon as it provides a mechanism whereby carbon dioxide from the atmosphere is converted to calcium oxalate in the plant and then calcium carbonate in the soil. Basically whereby carbon dioxide is sequestered in a very stable form as limestone that will remain stored in the soil for thousands of years.

Calcium carbonate deposits produced through microbial action on Brosimum alicastrum (Maya Nut) roots in the soil. Quantifying this process and understanding how it works could provide an exciting approach to carbon sequestration.

2 thoughts on “Two exciting seminars on Maya Nut tree at Kew”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s