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.
0213001849

Predicting Urban Tree Health From Impervious Surface Cover

The impervious surface threshold can be used to identify planting sites where red maples will thrive. Trees surrounded by < 33% impervious surface cover (at 25 m) will most likely be in good or excellent condition. Trees surrounded by 33% – 66% are likely to be in fair condition. Trees surrounded by 67% or more tend to be in poor condition. Landscape architects, urban planners, arborists, landscapers, and other tree care professionals can use these impervious surface thresholds to reduce red maple management and replacement costs.. Arborists rate tree condition as poor, fair, good, or excellent. Impervious surface cover can be measured from satellite images with software such as ArcGIS or by using the Pace to Plant technique described. (Click on title for full story.)

0213001849

Plants Respond To Touch And Even A Shadow

Although people generally assume plants don’t feel when they are being touched, this shows that they are actually very sensitive to it and can redirect gene expression, defence and potentially their metabolism because of it. (Click on title for full story.)

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Secret Glue Ivy Uses To Climb Could Save Our Lives

More than 130 years ago, Charles Darwin discovered that ivy’s sticking power is thanks to a thin yellow glue secreted from its roots. But since then, little has been known about how the adhesive works. (Click on title for full story.)

0213001849

A Polluted City Gathers No Moss: New Use Of A Bioindicator

More broadly, their study is the first to generate a rigorous and detailed map of air pollution in a U.S. city using moss and may ultimately lead to dramatic improvements in air-quality monitoring across the country. The study showed that moss can serve as a low-cost screening tool to help cities strategically place their expensive and limited instrumental air-quality monitors. (Click on title for full story.)

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Plant Can Remove Heavy Metals From Water

While still early, the researchers think that their findings add to solving the problem of water pollution by using cheap but effective and fully natural-derived adsorbents to remove heavy metal ions from water; an urgent problem for developing countries which struggle with drinking water shortages. (Click on title for full story.)

0213001849

Microbiome Frontier: Bacteria Aid Tree Branches Collect Nitrogen From Air

It’s well documented that nitrogen fixation happens in bacteria-rich nodules on the roots of legumes such as soybeans, clovers, alfalfa and lupines. Bacteria help the roots fix atmospheric nitrogen gas into a form which can be used by the plant. There is a strongly held belief that only plants with root nodules can benefit from this type of symbiosis. This research provides the first direct evidence that nitrogen fixation can occur in the branches of trees, with no root nodule required. (Click on title for full story.)

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Plants That Sting And Bite May Have Something To Teach Us

Additional research projects are directed towards investigating which other plants may use structural calcium phosphate to face challenges in their natural environment and which biomechanical advantages this material conveys to the plants. The discovery is also of potential relevance for bionic applications. “Surgical bone substitutes have to be highly tissue compatible, cellulose-composite are likely to meet that criterion” (Click on title for full story.)

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Old School Plant Breeding Producing Better Results Than GMO Research

His work stands out because he has taken an old-school approach. He is leading a renaissance in some conventional crop-breeding techniques that rely on laboriously examining plants’ physical characteristics and then selecting for desirable traits, such as growth or the length of fine roots. And surprisingly, this approach seems to be outpacing the high-tech route. (Click on title for full story.)

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Darwin Proven Correct: Pollinators May Be Perfectly Matched To Flower Species

We showed that Darwin’s prediction that each flower has a pollinator with a proboscis fitting into the flower, in Manduca not only resulted in a very long tongue, but also in a preference for the odor of the fitting flower. And that this co-evolution is beneficial for the moth, as the moth gets the best energy gain from fitting flowers, (Click on title for full story.)

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What Do Trees Do While You Are Sleeping? They Sleep too

he leaves and branches were shown to droop gradually, with the lowest position reached a couple of hours before sunrise. In the morning, the trees returned to their original position within a few hours. It is not yet clear whether they were “woken up” by the sun or by their own internal rhythm. (Click on title for full story.)