Category Archives: Plants & Animals

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Trees To Protect Us From Ticks And Mosquitos

This newly-discovered repellent can be prepared inexpensively from pine oil feedstock in ton quantities for large-scale commercial application.

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Bushmeat Crisis Threatens Trees

Recent research shows that in those regions of the South American rain forests where monkey species have been exterminated, certain tree species have little chance of survival.

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Bees Must Envy Orchids

If the orchids thrive on imitating female bees, the match should be as perfect as possible…. Unless, of course, the males like their girls just a little bit different.

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Benefits of Invasive Plants

According to the research, the existence of invasive plants in invaded sites can increase visits from insects to the majority of native plants. In this way the ‘floral market’ hypothesis in which only the invasive flowers are seen to benefit and the native flowers are no longer visited by insects is contradicted.

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You Gotta Work It!

Flowers 'wave' at insects to get their attention, scientists have discovered. The finding helps explain why many flowers waft in the breeze, and reveals a hitherto unknown trick used to attract pollinators.

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Seed dispersal and Extinct dispersers in Island Communities – A Complex Mix

Thus, dispersal away from the maternal tree – or probably any adult conspecific – is apparently crucial for this species. We demonstrate that Aldabra giant tortoises could be used as ecological analogues to provide seed dispersal services, and thus resurrect the functional component of some of the extinct endemic frugivores in Mauritius.

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Plants Can Manipulate Pollinators’ Behavior

Scientists report the results from field experiments… that show that particular components of the floral fragrance attracted pollinators, while bitter-tasting and poisonous components of floral nectar enforced modest drinking behavior.

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Score One For The Insects

Dutch ecologist Roxina Soler and her colleagues have discovered that subterranean and aboveground herbivorous insects can communicate with each other by using plants as telephones.

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When A Rose Does Not Smell As Sweet

Air pollution from power plants and automobiles is destroying the fragrance of flowers and thereby inhibiting the ability of pollinating insects to follow scent trails to their source.

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Birds Select Healthy Diets

Our study shows for the first time that flavonoids are beneficial compounds that can boost the immune system in a living organism. We also found that wild birds actively select food containing flavonoids. Our results have important implications for the study of ecology and immunity in birds, and for the evolution of the relationship between plants and the birds and animals they rely on to disperse their seeds.