Dehydrated plant seeds can lay dormant for long periods--over 1,000 years in some species--before the availability of water can trigger germination. This protects the embryonic plant inside from a variety of environmental stresses until conditions are favorable for growth and survival. However, the mechanism by which the baby plant senses water and reactivates cellular activity has remained a mystery until now.
The UPV/EHU's Vertebrate Palaeontology research group has described two new species of palaeotheriidae mammals that inhabited the subtropical landscape of Zambrana (Álava) about 37 million years ago. Their atypical dental features could point to a difference in environmental conditions between the Iberian and Central European areas.
A 15-year reciprocal transplant study on Guam's native cycad tree, Cycas micronesica, by the Plant Physiology Laboratory at the University of Guam's Western Pacific Tropical Research Center has revealed that acute adaptation to local soil conditions occurs among the tree population and is important in the survival rate of transplanted cycads.
A collaborative research project between the five First Nations of the Nanwakolas Council of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University is contributing to conservation efforts of the iconic western redcedar tree. New research in the Journal of Ethnobiology highlights concerns about the long-term sustainability of this culturally significant resource. Researchers found that western redcedar trees suitable for traditional carving are generally rare.
Not only animals and humans host a complex community of microorganisms -- plants do this as well. Researchers at ETH Zurich have recently published two new studies that shed light on fundamental aspects of these close -- and often overlooked -- relationships.
Researchers from the University of Washington provide a first look at the probability of observing common birds as air pollution worsens during wildfire seasons. They found that smoke affected the ability to detect more than a third of the bird species studied in Washington state over a four-year period. Sometimes smoke made it harder to observe birds, while other species were actually easier to detect when smoke was present.
California's old-growth blue oak woodlands are dying off, shows a new study by the open access publisher Frontiers. The authors use a new approach to show that heat, drought and wildfires are the all contributing to the loss and deterioration of these native ecosystems. The study focuses on the extreme drought of 2012-2016, but suggests that these conditions will become more frequent in the future.
Drones keep getting smaller, while their potential applications keep getting bigger. And now unmanned aircraft systems are taking on some of the world's biggest small problems: insect pests. From crop-munching caterpillars to disease-transmitting mosquitoes, insects that threaten crops, ecosystems, and public health are being targeted with new pest-management strategies that deploy drones for detection and control. A variety of these applications are featured in a new special collection in the Journal of Economic Entomology.
A new paper published by an East Carolina University researcher in the Department of Coastal Studies shines light on the effect human-made infrastructure and natural topography has on coastal wetlands after major storm events. In partnership with NASA and Florida International University, the study, led by assistant professor David Lagomasino, was published in the July edition of Nature Communications.
An estimated 2-3 million hectares of tropical forest were converted to cocoa from 1988-2008 with severe consequences for biodiversity. Unsustainable cocoa monocultures (agricultural systems growing a single crop type) eventually collapse from disease, pests and soil degradation, hurting local communities as well as bird populations. Eliminating monoculture cocoa from supply chains and converting to sustainable agroforestry systems can help maintain productive farms while protecting habitats and biodiversity.