Category Archives: Plants & Animals

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Why Do Male Flowers Have The Fragrance?

This was a surprise in fundamental plant biology …If you ask people where the perfume of a flower comes from, they'll likely say the female parts or the petals.

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Bees aren’t All About Honey

Honeybees are important to plants for reasons that go beyond pollination… The insects' buzz also defends plants against the caterpillars that would otherwise munch on them undisturbed.

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How Green Is Your Business?

Forests provide pure water and regulate temperatures. Wetlands help mitigate floods. Businesses can hurt these and other ecosystem services (like wind breaks and the pollination of crops) or then can assist and benefit from them. A new report from Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) looks at seven tools business can use to assess their impacts on ecosystem services.

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If There Were No Acorns

The idea seemed too crazy to Rod Simmons, a measured, careful field botanist. Naturalists in Arlington County couldn't find any acorns. None. No hickory nuts, either. Then he went out to look for himself. He came up with nothing. Nothing crunched underfoot. Nothing hit him on the head

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The Trees Sing To Us And We Sing To The Trees

The ultrasonic din of dying trees inspires a new kind of research to save forests from beetle attacks — and battle climate change.

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Spicy Peppers Protect Themselves

The new research provides convincing evidence that the bitter and sometimes toxic chemicals found in many fruits serve to prevent microbial attack — a popular idea that has been difficult to demonstrate.

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A Pollinator Likes A Drink Now And Then

A tiny tree-shrew that lives on alcoholic nectar could – pound for pound – drink the average human under the table, scientists have discovered.

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Ants Are A Plants’ Best Friend

Despite their small size, ants represent the ’glue’ for many ecological interactions. In the future, the natural defense systems of ant-plants could have useful applications for agriculture. Could ants offer ’free’ pest control to crops?

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Make Leaves Not War

Genetic analysis reveals an evolutionary trend for milkweed plants away from resisting predators to putting more effort into repairing themselves faster than caterpillars — particularly the monarch butterfly caterpillar — can eat them.

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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.