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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How Mangrove Restoration Goes Bad

Unfortunately, the focus on initial planting forgets the endproduct – the mature forest. Like graduation ceremonies, tree planting is only the commencement, yet media rarely report, if at all, the massive mortalities of failed plantings.

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A molecule from plants and trees could make our roads and roofs ‘greener’

Construction crews may someday use a plant molecule called lignin in their asphalt and sealant mixtures to help roads and roofs hold up better under various weather conditions. It also could make them more environmentally friendly

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Little Known Pollinators Gain New Importance As Bees Decline

As important pollinators, such as bees, have suffered serious declines, it would be prudent to improve our understanding of the role of non-syrphid Diptera as pollinators.

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Are Alien Species A Big Picture Problem Or A Local Menace?

Rather than getting a picture of all the new species increasing and all the native species decreasing, which is the way that the story seems to get portrayed sometimes, we see that the date a plant species arrives in Britain doesn’t predict whether it will be increasing or decreasing.

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Plant Poisons Used By Our Palaeolithic Ancestors

Until very recently it has been impossible to prove that poisons extracted from plants were used by early societies. Now a specialist in Palaeolithic hunting weapons believes that she is on the brink of being able to prove that our ancestors used poisons as far back as 30,000 years ago.

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Sexual Deception For Pollination? There’s Lots Going On That We Know Nothing About

While remarkable inroads are being made into the pollination biology of some groups of sexually deceptive orchids, this discovery in Pterostylis highlights the prospect that many future discoveries of this pollination strategy are still possible, both within and beyond the Orchidaceae.

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Forests Almost Gone. Only Pieces Left. What Are The Consequences?

Fragmentation experiments—some of the largest and longest-running experiments in ecology—provide clear evidence of strong and typically degrading impacts of habitat fragmentation on biodiversity and ecological processes. The findings of these experiments extend to a large fraction of the terrestrial surface of the Earth. Much of the Earth’s remaining forest fragments are less than 10 ha in area, and half of the world’s forest is within 500 m of the forest edge

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Tree Rings, The Ultimate Historical Record

The overall aspiration of the Center for Mediterranean Archaeology and the Environment is completion of a 10,000-year tree-ring chronology of the entire Mediterranean region.

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Tricks For Learning (And Remembering) Plant Names

Most beginners are introduced to plant diversity through identification keys, which develop differentiation skills but not species memorisation. A paper in the Journal of Biological Education proposes that mnemonics, memorable ‘name clues’ linking a species name with morphological characters, are a complementary learning tool for promoting species memorisation.

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Glow On Little Plant: The Phenomenon Of Iridescence

The phenomenon can be observed in most plant groups, but on a limited number of species. Interestingly, it has been mostly recorded in understorey plants of Asian forests, where the light level is only 1% of the light level in the canopy. This had led to the hypothesis that iridescence could be an adaptation to low light levels