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Geneviève Zabré: A determined young researcher

#WomensDay In September 2018, Geneviève Zabré, a young biologist from Burkina Faso, won first place in the international competition for French speakers called “My Thesis in 180 Seconds”. Her victory was due to a very remarkable presentation of her thesis work, supported in part by the IRD. Find out...

4 per 1000 initiative

Capturing carbon in the air and storing it in the ground to fight climate change: this is the goal of the ambitious 4 per 1000 strategy. This initiative, the subject of an international research programme , is mobilising several teams at the IRD.

Mercury levels in tuna: Verifying the size, species, and origin!

Tuna is a widely-loved food around the world, but it can harbour a toxin: methylmercury. According to a recent study, the levels of this toxin in Central and Southwest Pacific tuna depends not only on the size and species of the fish, but also their geographic origin. These results are crucial for...

The effects of gold mining in rivers in French Guiana

A study conducted in the French Guiana basin where artisanal gold mining in occurs has shown there is mercury in the environment from these activities. It is even found in the piscivorous fish and indigenous communities that eat food from the rivers affected. These are important and innovative...

Amazon groundwater quantified at last!

As the Amazon basin is difficult to access, the condition of its water table remained virtually unknown. The mystery was solved thanks to an assessment made by an international team linked to several IRD units and led by LEGOS researchers. This result is all the more interesting in that access to...
test-arsenic

The Uros of Bolivia, adept at neutralising arsenic

A study of women from various Bolivian communities shows that these peoples drink water containing elevated levels of arsenic on a daily basis. While the toxic effects of the regular ingestion of this substance are well known, these women’s bodies seem particularly adept at “neutralising” the poison...
recif-moorea-2018

The resistance of the Moorea corals

Experts in ocean ecology are investigating the health of coral reefs, put to the test by the increase in natural and anthropogenic disturbances. While there is growing concern about their overall future, certain reefs resist repeated attack, but however lose their diversity.
black-bass

Biodiversity of freshwater fish in turmoil

In the last few centuries, 15% of new fish species have been introduced by Man into rivers across the world. Researchers have found that these introductions alter the ecosystem to a much larger extent than originally anticipated.
barge-d-orpaillage-sur-le-maroni

The Maroni River threatened by gold mines

How have the environmental changes that have occurred in recent decades in French Guiana, including gold extraction in the hinterland, affected the Maroni River? A team involving IRD researchers analysed changes in sediment flows in this water course since 2000. Their findings are alarming.
Fruit trees and legumes combined with food crops

Carbon storage: what matters is the input!

After 15 years of climate smart agricultural practices in Madagascar, researchers are categorical: while these alternative methods help increase soil carbon storage, their effectiveness varies substantially. The assessment must therefore be carried out on the scale of the territory.
Wild form of millet in the Sahara

Genetic diversity in millet: a past and future adaptive advantage

Having sequenced the millet genome, an international consortium involving French researchers from IRD, Indian, Chinese researchers and numerous laboratories from the North and South, studied different wild and cultivated varieties. This allowed them to trace the history of cultivated millet and...
Root nodules of Discaria (Order: Rosales), a non-legume species capable of nitrogen-fixing symbiosis.

Nitrogen-fixing symbioses reveal themselves

Recent research has revealed the origin and evolution of symbiotic relationships between certain plants and soil bacteria in order to use atmospheric nitrogen. This knowledge could ultimately contribute to the development of sustainable agriculture minimising the use of chemical fertilisers.
Water run-off on degraded soil and gully erosion due to flooding, in the Mélé Haoussa basin in Niger

New hydroclimatic conditions in the Sahel

The latest figures on soil and climate help explain the enigmatic ups and downs observed in Sahelian hydrology for decades. Knowledge of the mechanisms involved paves the way for practical solutions to adapt agriculture to new environmental conditions.
Etude des fonds coralliens en Nouvelle-Calédonie, dans le cadre du projet PRISTINE, 2013.

Effectiveness of marine reserves compromised by proximity to humans

The environmental benefits of marine reserves located near human populations are limited. This was demonstrated by researchers from the University of Montpellier, IRD and the University of New Caledonia, in conjunction with CNRS, as they studied 1,800 coral reefs, 106 of which were located in 20...
plat-de-fos-rotis

Larvae on the menu

According to an FAO report, there will be 9.7 billion human beings on the planet in 2050. Food production must increase by 70% to feed everyone. In this context, insects appear to be a possible source of alternative food. But what is their nutritional value? We focus on that of palm weevil larvae.
The fruit clusters of Coccoloba uvifera give it its nickname of sea grape.

Unwavering symbiosis

Research conducted on the introduction of a tree from extreme environments into the sand dunes of Senegal shows its solid relationship with a fungus. This fungus naturally accompanies the tree from its environment of origin, on the other side of the Atlantic.

Cultivating land for carbon

Soils from cultivated areas in tropical regions constitute largely underused carbon sinks. Increasing carbon stocks in soil has become critical to mitigate the effects of climate change but also increase soil fertility. What are the options?
mesure-des-arbres-mule-hole

Roots in search of water

Why are there differences in the growth of a dozen tree species in an Indian forest? Their rooting depth and ability to overcome exceptional droughts. And the most resilient are not the ones we may have imagined…
Cowpea roots bear nodules which contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria.

Lipids that boost symbiosis

Certain legumes form a symbiotic relationship with bacteria! Tucked into their roots, these bacteria increase the crop yield of these plants. These bacteria, capable of producing lipid molecules known as hopanoids, therefore seem to provide a distinct advantage.
Aedes aegypti takes the most from fertilisers to develop faster.

Fertilisers beneficial to… mosquitoes

Fertiliser application promotes the proliferation of mosquitoes, notably in rice fields and food crops. The concomitant use of insecticides increases the risk of resistance. New strategies to combat these disease-transmitting insects are required.