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.
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.