Category Archives: Plants & Animals

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Seed Dispersal Makes the Forest Go Round

Trees with smaller fruit tended to be less widely dispersed than trees bearing larger fruit, strengthening the argument that larger-bodied birds and mammals, in eating larger fruit, carry the seeds of these plants over larger distances. Wind-dispersed seeds were observed to have a surprisingly tight cluster radius, likely explained by the dense forest canopy stifling wind speeds.

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What Gorillas Teach Pharmacists

If Aframomum lives up to the current hopes for it… we will owe a great debt to early native healers in Africa… and the wild lowland gorillas whose habits they perhaps observed and mimicked.

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When Worms Garden

We are in a state of speculation as to why earthworms even collect seeds.

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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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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.

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Climate Change Causes Pollinators and Plants to Be Out of Sync

If climate change disturbs the timing between flowering and pollinators that overwinter in place, such as butterflies, bumblebees, flies, and even mosquitoes, the intimate relationships between plants and pollinators that have co-evolved over the past thousands of years will be irrevocably altered.

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Bees Go for Flowers That Are Hot!

…the tests showed that bees preferred warmer plants and could learn to identify the hotter species by the colour of flowers.

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Loss of Pollinators Especially Hard on Plants in Biological Hotspots

Species in species-rich regions face two challenges that increase the risk of extinction: habitat destruction, which is occurring at alarming rates in the tropics, and reduced pollinator activity.

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What Happens When You Mess With Symbiotic Pollination Relationships?

With as many as 70% of plant species dependent on animal pollinators and at least 82 mammalian pollinator species and 103 bird pollinator species considered threatened or extinct, this is sobering news.

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When Mutualism Isn’t Mutual, Part 1

Many, if not all, plants maintain relationships with bacteria, and like any hardworking homeowner, they have developed ways to get rid of freeloaders … biologists have found. In a study of a coastal California lupine that harbors nitrogen-fixing bacteria in its roots, … researchers have shown that the roots respond differently to bacteria that efficiently produce nitrogen than they do to the slackers.