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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Saving Trees Can Kill Them

…as the beasts have been kept away, the whole ecology of the fenced areas has changed. The trees growth patterns slowed; many sickened, and their death rate doubled; they produced fewer thorns for the ants to use as homes and less nectar for the ants to eat.

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Ants And Elephants Fight Over Trees

Columns of angered ants will crawl up into elephant trunks to repel the ravenous beasts from devouring tree cover throughout drought-plagued East African savannas.

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Africa’s Acacias Struck By Cancer

You can never underestimate the importance of the Acacia karroo. So anything that threatens its existence constitutes a major worry. We are particularly worried by its propensity to jump hosts.

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Roots Have A Pulse, Too

When the scientists trained their cameras on the hairs, rather than witnessing a slow, steady lengthening, they were surprised to see the hairs undergoing rhythmic pulses of growth every 20 seconds.

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Climate Change, Flying Foxes And Mass Extinctions

They are a keystone species for forest environments… There are lots of other species whose fate may also be in serious doubt.

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When Medicines Mysteriously Appear

At first, it didnt sound like the way a modern cancer treatment would be created. As the story went, it was an elixir extracted from the root of a mysterious plant found deep in the Amazon forest in Ecuador.

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Underwater Gilled Mushroom — A First

As far as weve determined, this is a first in Oregon as well as a first in the world… Were not aware of anything at all like this in mycology where the reproductive mushroom structure appears to be perennially underwater.

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A Plant Needs Its Mother

…Plants grown in the same setting as their maternal plant performed almost 3½ times better than those raised in a different environment — indicating that maternal plants give cues to their offspring that help them adapt to their environmental conditions.

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How Green IS your green roof?

Stephan Brenneisen, a Swiss green roof specialist and ecologist, claims that many of the thin substrates on sedum roofs lose their effectiveness over time… [he] also found that many sedum roofs have minimal positive effects on storm water retention, energy use, or the urban climate — core arguments that have been used to justify the implementation of green roofs. Moreover, ecologists attribute rather limited biodiversity values to sedum roofs and prefer roofs that offer a secondary ha