Plant news from around the world
Biologists have known for a long time that some creatures evolve more quickly than others. Exactly why isn't well understood, particularly for plants. But it may be that height plays a role, says Robert Lanfear of Australian National University and the U. S. National Evolutionary Synthesis Center.
Scientists have mapped the gene sequence of Norway spruce (the Christmas tree) -- a species with huge economic and ecological importance -- and that is the largest genome to have ever been mapped. The genome is complex and seven times larger than that of humans.
Tropical plants flower at supra-annual irregular intervals. In addition, mass flowering is typical for the tropical forests in Borneo and elsewhere, where hundreds of different plant timber species from the Dipterocarpaceae family flower synchronously. This phenomenon is all the more puzzling because both temperature and day length are relatively constant all year round due to geographical proximity to the equator.
Biologists have known for a long time that some creatures evolve more quickly than others. Exactly why isn't well understood, particularly for plants. But it may be that height plays a role. Shorter plants have faster-changing genomes.
BGCI’s Secretary General, Sara Oldfield has been awarded an Institutional Honorary Doctorate by the University of Ghent, Belgium.
An international team of scientists reveals that a unique strain of potato blight they call HERB-1 triggered the Irish potato famine of the mid-19th century.
For decades, ecologists have assumed the worst invasive species—such as brown tree snakes and kudzu—have an “away-field advantage.” They succeed because they do better in their new territories than they do at home. A new study reveals that this fundamental assumption is not nearly as common as people might think.
Researchers in Canada have developed guidelines being used by foresters and the timber industry to get a jump on climate change when planting trees.
Phylogeneticists examined the reasons why large-scale tree-of-life studies are producing contradictory results and have proposed a suite of novel techniques to resolve the conflicts.
Plants are the champions of solar power. They can operate at nearly 100 percent quantum efficiency, which means that for every photon of sunlight a plant captures, it produces an equal number of electrons. Converting just a fraction of this energy into electricity would improve solar panels, which usually operate at efficiency levels between 12 and 17 percent.
Researchers have found they can control one of fruit growers' more severe pests, aphids, with a remarkably benign tool: flowers. The discovery is a boon for organic as well as conventional tree fruit growers. The researchers found that plantings of sweet alyssum attracted a host of spiders and predator bugs that in turn preyed on woolly apple aphids, a pest that growers often control with chemical sprays.
Environments containing species that are distantly related to one another are more productive than those containing closely related species, according to new research.
Scientists have developed techniques for the genetic improvement of sunflowers using a non-GMO based approach. The new technology platform can harness the plant’s own genes to improve characteristics of sunflower, develop genetic traits, which will improve its role as an important oilseed crop.
Even as concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere hit 400 parts per million (ppm) for the first time in human history last week, a new study in Nature Climate Change warns that thousands of the world's common species will suffer grave habitat loss under climate change.
A new study suggests that overgrazing and other factors increase the severity of cheatgrass invasion in sagebrush steppe, one of North America's most endangered ecosystems. Researchers said one of the most effective restoration approaches would be to minimize the cumulative impact of grazing, by better managing the timing, frequency of grazing and number of animals.
The gardener’s best friend, the earthworm, is great at protecting leaves from being chomped by slugs, suggests new research. Although they lurk in the soil, they seem to protect the plants above ground. Increasing plant diversity also decreases the amount of damage slugs do to individual plants.
The sacred lotus is a symbol of spiritual purity and longevity. Its seeds can survive up to 1,300 years, its petals and leaves repel grime and water, and its flowers generate heat to attract pollinators. Now researchers report that they have sequenced the lotus genome. Of all the plants sequenced so far -- and there are dozens -- sacred lotus bears the closest resemblance to the ancestor of all eudicots, a broad category of flowering plants that includes apple, cabbage, cactus, coffee and tobacco.
Botanic gardens, museums, science centres, universities, schools, and many others worldwide will all be celebrating the wonders and importance of plants on Saturday 18th May 2013 for the second ever international “Fascination of Plants Day” (FoPD), whihc coincides with Plant Conservation Day
The loss of eastern hemlock from forests in the Southern Appalachian region of the United States could permanently change the area's hydrologic cycle, reports a new study.
The sun provides the most abundant source of energy on the planet. However, only a tiny fraction of the solar radiation on Earth is converted into useful energy.