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Does Use Of Anti-Fungal Drugs On Plants Endanger Human Health?

“Given that these fungi can persist for a long time, we are advising people not to plant tulip or narcissus bulbs in or near healthcare facilities or in the gardens of living quarters of patients who are in any way immunocompromised.” (Click on title for full story.)

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High School Student Discovers How Plants Warn Neighbors Of Threats

“So the injured plant is sending signals through the air. It’s not releasing these chemicals to help itself, but to alert its plant neighbors,” (Click on title for full story.)

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The Greening Of Antarctica

Researchers in Antarctica have discovered rapidly growing banks of mosses on the ice continent’s northern peninsula, providing striking evidence of climate change in the coldest and most remote parts of the planet. Amid the warming of the last 50 years, the scientists found two different species of mosses undergoing the equivalent of growth spurts, with mosses that once grew less than a millimeter per year now growing over 3 millimeters per year on average. (Click on title for full stroy.)

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Healthy Native Soils Less Favorable To Invasive Plants

We found that background levels of soil N and an intact native soil microbial community are essential to the performance of two native prairie plant species, a grass and a forb, while an invasive forb is most successful under conditions of elevated soil nitrogen and when the native soil microbial community has been disrupted. While other studies have considered either the role of the soil microbial community or the effect of changes in soil fertility on the performance of native and exotic plants, our study is one of the few to evaluate the performance of natives and exotics in relation to both factors and under competitive conditions. This integrated approach allows us to more realistically assess the importance of biotic and abiotic soil factors and their interactions to plant performance and the success of exotic invaders. (Click on title for full story.)

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Over 1,700 Exciting New Plant Species Discovered in 2016!

Finding so many new species in a year is not unusual and Prof Kathy Willis, director of science at Kew Gardens, said: “There are just huge areas we know nothing about. I find it really encouraging that there are many, many new plants to be found in the world.” (Click on title for full story.)

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American Chestnuts Will Return… Eventually

Very few people understand the magnitude of the breeding challenge embarked upon by The American Chestnut Foundation when it began in 1983. Just to complete the B3F2 generation of breeding and selection — the final generation as originally envisioned — has meant that 73,000 trees must be created by hand pollination and grown and tested in plantations for a minimum of three years. (Click on title for full story.)

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Do Trees React Differently To Defoliation By Herbivores?

These results can help us assess the mortality risk of trees during a defoliation event using traits such as leaf longevity and how carbohydrates are stored in the species. Such information could then be used in models of tree growth and survival to predict which trees and forests may need protective measures (e.g. biocontrol of pests, pesticide application) in advance of a defoliation event. (Click on title for full story.)

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Did Early Hunter-Gatherers KNOW They Were Domesticating Crops?

“We know very little about how agriculture began, because it happened 10,000 years ago – that’s why a number of mysteries are unresolved. For example why hunter-gatherers first began farming, and how were crops domesticated to depend on people. One controversy in this area is about the extent to which ancient peoples knew they were domesticating crops. Did they know they were breeding domestication characteristics into crops, or did these characteristics just evolve as the first farmers sowed wild plants into cultivated soil, and tended and harvested them?” (Click on title for full story.)

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That Dingo Saved My Landscape

The plots on the dingo side of the fence showed no real differences in vegetation. But on the other side of the fence, the kangaroo-exclusion areas had about 12% more vegetation cover, implying that high numbers of the herbivores reduce the plant cover in a landscape. Fenced-off plots on the kangaroo side of the fence also had more soil carbon, phosphorus and nitrogen, suggesting that intense grazing outside the plots was changing the soil chemistry of the area. (Click on title for full story.)

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Soil Fungi Ease The Way For Climate Induced Tree Migration

A 2010 U.S. Forest Service study found that 70 percent of tree species are already showing tree range migration, with maple, beech and birch potentially gone entirely in the Northeast by 2100. (Click on title for full story.)