Una ricerca del Max Planck Institute ha illustrato un meccanismo di coevoluzione che permette alla sfinge del tabacco di massimizzare il guadagno energetico dirigendosi immediatamente verso la pianta che corrisponde alla lunghezza della sua proboscide
A Purdue University study shows that honeybees collect the vast majority of their pollen from plants other than crops, even in areas dominated by corn and soybeans, and that pollen is consistently contaminated with a host of agricultural and urban pesticides throughout the growing season.
The oldest known population of plant root stem cells have now been found in a 320-million-year-old fossil. The cells, which gave rise to the roots of an ancient plant, were found in a fossilized root tip held in the Oxford University Herbaria.
Through their research, scientists developed thresholds of impervious surface around planting sites. In other words, they defined points at which the amount of pavement around a tree reduces its condition. Using these established levels of impervious surface, landscape architects and other landscape professionals can plant trees in a way that reduces pest damage and economic loss.
Per adesso non c'è ancora la tecnologia per andare a vivere e lavorare su Marte, ma intanto ricercatori e astronauti studiano e si preparano a quella che sarà la più rischiosa e importante missione con equipaggio umano. Gli astrobiologi si focalizzano sullo studio di funghi e licheni in zone estreme del nostro pianeta, come il deserto dello Utah | COME CI SI PREPARA AL VIAGGIO VERSO MARTE
Heralded on the cover of Time magazine in 2000 as a genetically modified (GMO) crop with the potential to save millions of lives in the Third World, Golden Rice is still years away from field introduction and even then, may fall short of lofty health benefits still cited regularly by GMO advocates, suggests a new study from Washington University in St. Louis.
Nice to see what I hope is the beginning of a “superfoods” backlash, spearheaded by Sense About Science and their Ask For Evidence campaign, together with the British Dietetic Association: Bioversity’s DG Ann Tutwiler gave the compellingly titled presentation On
All too often we think of a species' niche as a sort of address. Species will be present in suitable habitat and absent from unsuitable habitat. Certainly this oversimplification has been useful to us, however, it often ignores context. Species, especially long lived ones, can often be found in unsuitable habitat. Similarly, biotic interactions such as pollinators and seed dispersers are regularly overlooked when considering "suitable habitat." The absence of factors such as this can leave plants stranded in suboptimal conditions.
A recent paper published in PLOS One tackles this very idea by looking at a species of tree many of us will be familiar with - the honey locust ( Gleditsia triacanthos). This central North American legume is widely planted as a street/landscape tree all over the United States. Ecologically speaking, honey locusts can be found growing wild in open xeric upland sites. In places like the southern Appalachian Mountains, however, they can also be found growing in mesic bottomlands. Regardless of where it is found, the honey locust seems to be severely dispersal limited (except in cases where cattle and other livestock have been introduced).
Before modern times, honey locust likely relied on Pleistocene megafauna to get around. The end of the Pleistocene marked the end of these large mammals. Left behind were many different plant species that had evolved alongside them. For a small handful of these plants, humans were a saving grace. Such is the case for the honey locust. Inside the honey locust pods there is a sugary pulp, which in southern Appalachia, the Cherokee were quite fond of. The Cherokee also used the tree for making weapons and gamesticks. As such, the honey locust holds great cultural significance, so much so that the Cherokee named at least one settlement "Kulsetsiyi" (more commonly known today as Cullasaja), which translates to "honey locust place."
Author, Dr. Robert Warren, noticed that in southern Appalachia, "Every time I saw a honey locust, I could throw a rock and hit an archaeological site.” What's more, the trees were not recruiting well unless cattle or some other form of human disturbance was present. This species seemed to be a prime candidate for testing persistent legacy effects in tree distributions.
Using seed germination experiments and lots of mapping, Dr. Warren was able to demonstrate that honey locust distributions in the southern Appalachian region are more closely tied to Cherokee settlements than its own niche requirements. The germination experiments strengthened this correlation by showing that mesic bottomlands had the lowest germination and survival rates.
Additionally, these sites are well known as former sites of Cherokee settlement and agriculture. Because this tree held such significance to their culture, it is quite likely that in lieu of Pleistocene megafauna, Native Americans, and eventually European livestock, allowed the honey locust to reclaim some of its former glory. Of course, today it is a staple of horticulture. Still, the point is that despite being found growing in a variety of habitat types, the honey locust is very often found in unsuitable habitat where it cannot reproduce without a helping hand. In the southern Appalachian region, honey locust distributions are more a reflection of Native American cultural practices.
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