In a study conducted in Borneo during the extreme drought of 2015-2016, researchers compared “widely scattered” plots of land within a tropical rainforest. In some of the plots, termites were removed; in other plots, the termites were left alone.
“In the plots with intact termite mounds and nests, soil moisture … was 36% higher during the drought than it was in plots where termite activity was disrupted.” In addition, the termites aided litter decomposition and soil nutrient content.
Termites like a moist environment and , if needed, “will dig down … to bring water up to their living spaces.”
Due to climate change, “droughts are expected to occur more frequently” all over the world. As a result, termites could play “an increasingly important role” in assisting current and future “rainforest productivity and biodiversity.” Everything has a role to play and some human attempts to eradicate termites may lead to unintended consequences …
Research shows that receiving genetic risk information for Alzheimer’s, cancer, obesity, etc. through consumer DNA testing can change actual body physiology, exertion/endurance during exercise, and the feeling of fullness after eating “in a self-fulfilling manner.” “Effects of perceived genetic risk … were sometimes greater than the effects associated with actual genetic risk.”
Regular exercise helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders. Exercise aids in the generation of neurons, improvement of memory, and the brain’s ability to change and adapt as people grow older — https://bit.ly/2ABRUqE
As with humans and other animals, the evidence is mounting that plants can also recognize genetic “kin” (other plants that are similar) and will adapt to help them in ways like constraining the spread of roots, changing the number of flowers produced, and shifting leaves to minimize shading of nearby plants. There is also evidence that rice and sunflowers planted with kin results in higher yields — https://bit.ly/2F9ZjAz.
It’s still a huge problem; but, while China and other countries have heavily restricted imports, countries like Malaysia and Turkey are now recycling-and incinerating-more. See the numbers from the UK — https://bbc.in/2Sy41fk
(Roger Harrabin & Tom Edgington, BBC, January 1, 2019).