Gardeners and Nature lovers already appreciate the botanical wonders around us, but plants are more than floral beauties. We owe the air we breathe to them, all of our food, and most of our medicine, chemicals and housing. Animals from elephants to ants depend on plant-life. And the world's flora has an equally intimate relationship with the birds, insects, mammals and humans around them. Explore these relationships and find the latest botany discoveries through the links below. Check out the categories in the menu or try the search using the magnifying glass above.
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The Sound Of A Plant Dying Of Thirst

That is the sound of a plant dying of thirst. Heartbreaking isn’t it?

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Deep Down, A Panda Remains A Carnivore

The gut bacteria of giant pandas (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) have not evolved to efficiently break down cellulose, a hard-to-digest fibre found in plant walls. The bears’ gut microbiome is more closely related to that of carnivores, rather than other herbivores.

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The Universal Mathematics Of Bamboo Flowering Cycles

This remarkable cycle would be fascinating enough on its own. But it turns out a number of other species of bamboo grow flowers on cycles lasting decades, too. A species called Bambusa bambos flowers every 32 years, for example. Phyllostachys nigra f. henonis takes 60 years. Three biologists at Harvard got puzzled by these cycles and recently set out to find an explanation for how they evolved.

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Plants Compete For Ant Seed Dispersers

The researchers hypothesized that the staggered timing of seed release by ant-dependent plants has been shaped by competition, through which plants with less desirable (smaller) seeds avoid competing with plants with more desirable (larger) seeds.

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True Community: Trees Of Different Species Connected, Supporting Each Other

This phenomenon amazes me. On the face of it, it appears as if the douglas-fir is acting altruistically (without expectation of return) to help neighbors of a completely different species in light of its own probable demise. Even without the altruism, that trees as widely unrelated as douglas-fir and ponderosa pine can transfer resources to each other for any reason through fungi from a completely different kingdom is a bit of a shocker to me.

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Can These Women Save Africa’s Miracle Tree?

The lives of two Kenyan women Dorothy and Mary couldn’t be more different. One is used to life in the city, the other in a village. One is young and ambitious about her upcoming professional life, one has already retired. Dorothy and Mary do not know each other but they share one thing: Their commitment to a very special tree called Prunus Africana.

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The Oldest Baobab in Madagascar? (1,600 years!)

According to accurate dating results, the fony baobab becomes the second Adansonia species with individuals that can live over 1,000 yr. On the other hand, by its age, the Grandmother is a major candidate for being the oldest baobab of Madagascar.

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Invasive Ants and Invasive Plants Damaging South African Plant Communities

It is worrying that a number of large-seeded native plant species in invaded areas are not being dispersed at all. Even more concerning was that while removal of native seeds varied between invaded and non-invaded sites, there was no significant difference in removal of invasive seeds. This hints at a possible synergy between invasive ants and invasive plants, and the results paint a rather depressing picture for the seed fate of a number of native South African plant genera under Argentine ant rule.

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Healthy Forests Essential For Food Security

New research has shown that even deforestation could make things worse, as forests have proven themselves to be more important to global food security than previously thought.