All posts by zooplantman

Former Director of Horticulture, Wildlife Conservation Society/Bronx Zoo. Zoo exhibit & landscape designer perversely fascinated by the doings of plants, animals, ecosystems and other things not requiring batteries
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Secrets Of A Long, Sane Life

A daily tipple and a potter in the garden are the keys to a long and healthy life, Australian research has revealed.

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If There Were No Acorns

The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head

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Redeeming Prisoners, Redeeming Forests

The inmates saw themselves as active and valued participants in an ongoing exploration of how to solve a critical environmental problem…They seemed to be keen to make a difference to society, and the project appeared to serve as a subtle-but-real form of redemption.

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A Device To Smell Plants’ Pain

Scientists are using an electronic nose tailored to eavesdrop on plants that have been damaged or are under attack. The nose successfully discriminated among the various distress signals different plants emit, depending on the pests plaguing them.

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A Walk In Nature Heals The Mind

When we compared the scores for the walks in different environments, we found that after the walk in the park children generally concentrated better than they did after a walk in the downtown area or the neighborhood area. The greenest space was best at improving attention after exposure.

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Shade Grown Coffee Reduces Global Warming

Shady farms have greater water availability than sunny farms, due in part to lower evaporation rates from the coffee plants and soils. More shade also reduced peak temperatures between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., when southern Mexican coffee plants experience the greatest heat stress.

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If Bananas Were Spheres and Tomatoes Were Cylinders

What is the difference between apples and oranges? Why is a banana shaped like a banana? The question might seem esoteric, suitable only for researchers with ovate-shaped heads. But the answer, if it can be fully formed, promises profound and widespread applications.

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Plants Take Their Own Aspirin

Plants in a forest respond to stress by producing significant amounts of a chemical form of aspirin, scientists have discovered.

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The Trees Sing To Us And We Sing To The Trees

The ultrasonic din of dying trees inspires a new kind of research to save forests from beetle attacks — and battle climate change.

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Why Not Grow A Building?

Engineers and plant scientists… have taken their leafy designs to the next, and more practical and playful, level. Pilot projects under way… include streetlamps, gates and playground structures made entirely from trees, as well as hospital park benches that grow their own foliage for shade.