Plant news from around the world
A new study reveals how much -- and how little -- Northeastern forests have changed after centuries of intensive land use.
Coral reefs are tremendously important for ocean biodiversity. Unfortunately they have been in great decline in recent years, much of it due to the effects of global climate change. One such effect, called bleaching, occurs when the symbiotic algae that are essential for providing nutrients to the coral either lose their identifying photosynthetic pigmentation and their ability to perform photosynthesis or disappear entirely from the coral's tissue. Without a healthy population of these algae, the coral cannot survive.
Brown algae contain phlorotannins, aromatic (phenolic) compounds that are unique in the plant kingdom. As natural antioxidants, phlorotannins are of great interest for the treatment and prevention of cancer and inflammatory, cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. Researchers have recently elucidated the key step in the production of these compounds in Ectocarpus siliculosus, a small brown alga model species. The study also revealed the specific mechanism of an enzyme that synthesizes phenolic compounds with commercial applications.
Scientists evaluated Rocky Mountain juniper trees for changes in year-round essential oil content and composition. They found that the concentration of essential oil in fresh leaves varied, and that oil content in the male tree was greater than that of the female tree at most sampling points.
Forests in the northeastern US have been radically transformed over the last four centuries by human activity, and their relationship with climate factors like rainfall weakened.
When it comes to public access, the tree of life has holes. A new study shows about 70 percent of published genetic sequence comparisons are not publicly accessible, leaving researchers worldwide unable to get to critical data they may need to tackle a host a problems ranging from climate change to disease control.
Not only psychologists would be happy to be able to look inside their patients’ heads – a plant’s “inner qualities” also supply plant researchers with valuable information. A special camera analyzes the constituents of grapevines, corn and other plants.
Ecologist have shown that the Clean Air Act has helped forest systems recover from decades of sulfur pollution and acid rain. The research team spent four years studying centuries-old eastern red cedar trees, or Juniperus virginiana, in the Central Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.
More 200 registrations have been received from across the globe for the 5th Global Botanic Gardens / 6th BGANZ joint Congressto be held in Dunedin, New Zealand in October 2013.
In the 1970s, red spruce was the forest equivalent of a canary in the coal mine, signaling that acid rain was damaging forests and that some species, especially red spruce, were particularly sensitive to this human induced damage. Now, scientists are finding that red spruce are growing at levels almost two times the average for the last 100 years, a growth rate never before achieved by the trees examined.
Botany and health: Very small chemical changes to dietary flavonoids cause very large effects on human immune system
Very small chemical changes to dietary flavonoids cause very large effects when the plant natural products are tested for their impact on the human immune system. Plants are capable of making tens of thousands of different small molecules - an average leaf for example, produces around 20,000. Many of these are found in a typical diet and some are already known to have medicinal properties with effects on health, diseases and general well-being. Now plant biologists and immunologists have examined a very closely related family of these small molecules (flavonoids) to establish how tiny changes to their chemical structures affect their bio-activity.
Genetic tests show big differences between threatened Muskoka-dwelling plant and its New York State cousin, indicating that perceived global status may be misleading when assessing species at risk.
BGCI is delighted to announce that Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden, Hong Kong has become our latest Patron Member.
In 2100, a warmer climate will allow growth of trees and bushes in large parts of that Greenland, which is currently ice-free. This opportunity, will offer both risks and opportunities for the Greenlanders according to a new analysis.
Brooklyn Botanic Garden (BBG) announced in late August that it was suspending its research programs while it grappled with an accelerating building foundation problem at its off-site Science Center.
A greater focus on the role of microbiology in agriculture combined with new technologies can help mitigate potential food shortages associated with world population increases according to a new report.
During the summers of 2010 and 2011, biologists analyzed samples of algae populations from five zones and measured the amount of light present in and the temperature of each zone over the summer. The research group observed that the algae that displayed the most signs of stress were from the zones exposed to the most solar radiation.
Tree growth is one of the most essential and widely collected woody plant traits. Yet, the traditional method to measure tree growth is awkward and time consuming. Scientists have developed a new, resourceful way to take repeated tree growth measurements that is accurate and inexpensive, as well as easier, safer, and faster to install.
The ancient cycad lineage has been around since before the age of the dinosaurs. More recently, cycads also co-existed with large herbivorous mammals, such as the ice age megafauna that only went extinct a few tens of thousands of years ago. Cycads that are living today have large, heavy seeds with a fleshy outer coating that suggests they rely on large bodied fruit-eating animals to disperse their seeds. Yet there is little evidence that they are eaten and dispersed by today's larger-bodied animals, such as emus or elephants. If these plants are adapted for dispersal by a set of animals that has been missing from Earth's fauna for tens of thousands of years, then how can they still be around today? A new study proposes that the clumped dispersal mechanism these ancient plants most likely relied upon still serves them well today.
Sea ice decline and warming trends are changing the vegetation in nearby arctic coastal areas, according to scientists.