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Updated: 43 min 14 sec ago
New research published this week sheds light on how desert plants gain nutrients they desperately need -- even in the driest circumstances.
Biologists have discovered fundamental rules for leaf design that underlie the ability of plants to make leaves that vary enormously in size.
In the temperate zones, vegetation follows the change of the seasons. Researchers have now brought a new correlation to light: The colder the winter, the earlier native plants begin to grow again. Since warmer winters can be expected as the climate changes, the spring development phase for typical forest trees might start later and later -- giving an advantage to shrubs and invasive trees that don't depend on the cold.
Scientists have found a way to use coastal redwood trees as a window into historic climate, using oxygen and carbon atoms in the wood to detect fog and rainfall in previous seasons.
Americans place high value on butterfly royalty. A just-released study suggests they are willing to support monarch butterfly conservation at high levels, up to about $6.5 billion dollars if extrapolated to all US households. If even a small percentage of the population acted upon this reported willingness, the cumulative effort would likely translate into a large, untapped potential for conservation of the iconic butterfly.
Research into varieties of winter wheat, spring barley, potatoes grown for starch and sugar beet that have been introduced in the Netherlands by plant breeding companies between 1980-2010 shows that new varieties continue to yield more than their predecessors. Despite recent concerns that important crops in high-yielding regions have reached their production maximum, the rise in yield potential of new cultivars has not yet leveled off, demonstrating that plant breeding can still lead to increases in production.
When early-foraging ant species are displaced by later-foraging ant species due to climate change, early blooming plant species suffer. The presence of effective dispersers is as important as abiotic requirements in shaping a plant's niche.
The castor oil plant (Ricinus communis) produces beans with a high content of fatty acids from which oil is refined into biodiesel in several countries, eg. Brazil. Now scientists have succeeded in mapping proteins of the castor bean. This information might make it possible to get even more out of the bean than today. The researcher's work, however, shows that it may not be an easy task.
Stem cells are crucial for the continuous generation of new cells. Although the importance of stem cells in fuelling plant growth and development still many questions on their tight molecular control remain unanswered. Plant researchers have now discovered a new step in the complex regulation of stem cells.
Research has shown that a protein named after the katana, or samurai sword, plays a crucial role in patterning the "skeleton" inside plant cells. The work provides a clue to the long-standing mystery of how the cytoskeletons within both plant and animal cells become organized in function-specific patterns.
When scientists attempt to understand how climate change might reshape our environment, they must grapple with the seemingly endless complexity of interacting systems. For those considering the likely fate of particular species, there is now a relatively simple rule of thumb to help calculate the likely effect of climate change where species interact.
The Mississippi River Basin is home to much of the country's fertile crop land. Though crops are essential, their production has led to an increase in the levels of nitrogen and phosphorus in our water sources. This affects our rivers, lakes, and oceans. Single cell plants, called phytoplankton, feed off the increased nutrients, and in doing so start a cascade of events that leads to low oxygen levels in the water bodies.
A unique plant that lives underground uses multiple mechanisms to boost photosynthesis and offers new insights into how plants adapt to extreme conditions.
Scientists are studying how plants are able to set and maintain this internal clock. They have found that the sugars produced by plants are key to timekeeping.
Eucalyptus trees -- or gum trees as they are known -- are drawing up gold particles from the earth via their root system and depositing it their leaves and branches.
Searching for bountiful fruit crops in the rain forest, chimpanzees remember past feeding experiences.
Scientists have misunderstood one of the most fundamental processes in the life of plants because they have been looking at the wrong flower, according to researchers.
It has long been known that the characteristics of many plants with wide ranges can vary geographically, depending on differences in climate. But changes in grazing pressure and pollination can also affect the genetic composition of natural plant populations, according to a new study.
A California walking stick insect that has evolved to produce individuals with two distinct appearances -- an all-green form that camouflages well with broader leaves and a form with a white stripe running down its back that blends better with needle-like leaves -- can markedly affect its broader ecological community when the appearance of the bug is mismatched with the plant it's living on.
Scientists studied softwood stem cutting propagation of four underused shrub species native to the northeastern United States. The results indicated that two of these could be propagated for consideration as commercial crops for wholesale nurseries looking for new native shrubs, and that all four of the species have the potential to be viable commercial crops for nurseries that specialize in native plants.