Category Archives: Ecosystems

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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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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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Plant Extinctions Leave Permanent Gaps

The results showed that ecosystems with fewer plant species produced up to 50 percent less plant biomass than those with more natural levels of plant diversity. You might think extinctions would just mean other plants would take over and fill in the gaps, but that is not the case, the scientists found.

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Invasive Plants Have An Edge

We’ve seen this capability in a number of invasive plants that have come from Eurasia, such as garlic mustard… The roots exude a toxin that kills native plants.

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Forests Moderate Global Warming

As water helps moderate temperatures of nearby land, large tracts of forests can also help lessen the extremes of land in the area, according to research.

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Does Genetically Engineered Corn Damage Streams?

This study provides the first evidence that toxins from Bt corn may travel long distances in streams and may harm stream insects that serve as food for fish.

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The Garden Of Eden Unprotected

We are relying too much on the relatively few cultivated varieties of crops. This puts us at risk from changing environmental conditions. And also [wild crop relatives] have genetic diversity that can provide us with resistance to pests and diseases.

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Lost and Found Orchid

It is described, in various reports, as smelling like stinky feet, sweaty clothing and a horse corral on a hot afternoon.

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A Plant Needs Its Sister

New research shows that at least one species recognizes its kin, and becomes much more aggressive in soaking up resources if the guy growing next to it is a member of the same species, but a total stranger. But if it's a sibling, it backs off.

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Marine Plants That Create Sand

Its a unique plant in a number of ways, but one that’s quite interesting is its production of rock