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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The Majestic Live Oak is Losing its Battle for Survival

An icon in American history and literature, broad-crowned live oaks thrive in open savannas but are dying off as they are crowded and overshadowed by the encroachment of taller trees.

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Dodder: Plant on Plant Violence

It's probably one of the creepiest plants I know," says [Swarthmore College biology professor Colin Purrington]. "It's a horrible existence for the host plant. If plants could scream, they'd have the loudest screams when they had dodder attached.

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Who Profits from "Useful" Plants?

This is the silent plunder of natural resources from developing countries. Here we have a large multinational taking out a patent on a plant that grows naturally in a part of Africa and claiming it is their invention. Now the company is making a fortune selling it to the mass market, but the Tanzania communities that live in these regions will not receive one penny.

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Plants Increase Rainfall

More rain makes for more plant growth: that much is obvious. But now a statistical study of satellite images has added weight to the reverse notion: more plants also make for more rain.

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One Plant Species, Two Different Pollinators — Where’s This Headed?

…The future of red and yellow varieties of a San Diego wildflower may depend on the fates of two different animals.

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How Can a Cloud Forest Exist in the Desert?

The forest is especially unique… because it 'is a water-limited seasonal cloud forest' that is kept alive by water droplets gathered from passing clouds — ground fog. The water dribbles into the ground and sustains the trees later when the weather is dry.

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Endangered Plants Like Money in the Bank?

The department says the scheme will ensure much more biodiversity is protected as well as speeding up the planning process and providing developers with more certainty. It hopes biobanking will eventually replace the Threatened Species Conservation Act, which all parties say has failed the environment.

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Orange Snapdragons Pit "Evolutionists" against "Creationists"

If Darwin's theory of natural selection fails because critical intermediates — such as these elusive orange snapdragons — perform no function for selection to preserve, then God Himself would have to intervene to help yellow become magenta and vice versa.

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Elixir of Youth from Madagascar Plant?

The cream, Sublimage, has its origins in the northern extremity of Madagascar from whence, almost a decade ago, Ormancey received a tip-off about a species of vanilla tree bearing an amazing, life-giving fruit, of which only 13 specimens remained.

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For Mosses, Bigger Is Not Better

Textbooks state that moss sperm need to swim or splash to a female moss tuft. However, an experiment with a common moss species shows that sperm hitchhike on mites and tiny insects.