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Botanical Residue Reveals Story Of Ancient Buried Artifacts

“It has been an absolute pleasure to examine this unique assemblage. By combining the plant macro and pollen evidence we have been able to identify the time of year the vessels were buried, the packing material used, the nature of the surrounding vegetation and the likely date of burial.” (Click on title for full story.)

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Entrepreneur Aims To Clean Up Plastic Waste With Plant-Based Biodegradable Products

The entrepreneur, who is a biology graduate, is happy to demonstrate the bags are not harmful—he put some material from a cassava bag into a glass of hot water, watched it quickly dissolve, and then gulped down the resulting concoction. (Click on title for full story.)

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Carnivorous Plants Evolved The Same Habits Independently

By studying the pitcher plant’s genome — and comparing its insect-eating fluids to those of other carnivorous plants — researchers have found that meat-eating plants the world over have hit on the same deadly molecular recipe, even though they are separated by millions of years of evolution. “We’re really looking at a classic case of convergent evolution,” (Click on title for full story.)

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Moth Uses Plant Toxin To Protect Mate And Off-Spring

Once he has ingested the toxin from the plant, the male is no longer tasty to his common predators, particularly spiders and bats. After gathering the poison, the moth goes in search of a female. When he finds his insect bride, they mate for nine hours. But, just before mating, the moth releases the toxin like a cloud of miniature confetti that sticks to the female. The toxin protects her while she is mating and while she lays her eggs. The female moth then passes the toxin to her eggs. The toxin deters egg-eating insects like ants and ladybugs from devouring her young. (Click on title for full story.)

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Removing Exotic Plants From Natural Landscapes Benefits Native Wildlife

“Our results show that vegetation restoration can improve pollination, suggesting that the degradation of ecosystem functions is at least partially reversible. ” (Click on title for full story.)

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Coastal Wetlands Uniquely Valuable To Slow Climate Change

All told, coastal wetlands may capture and store more than 200 metric tons of carbon per year globally. Importantly, these ecosystems store 50-90 percent of this carbon in soils, where it can stay for thousands of years if left undisturbed. “When we destroy coastal wetlands, for coastal development or aquaculture, we turn these impressive natural carbon sinks into additional, significant human-caused greenhouse gas sources,” (Click on title for full story.)

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When Herbivores Attack, Plants Emit Odors Specific To The Attackers’ Predators

When they are chewed by insects or other small animals, many plants react by releasing odours to attract the insects’ enemies. A new study published in the scientific journal New Phytologist reveals that the odour bouquet changes depending on the type of herbivore that eats the plant. This helps the plant to specifically attract natural enemies that feed on the herbivores eating them. To the surprise of the researchers involved, native plants can even recognise when they are eaten by exotic herbivores. In this case, they emit a specific odour bouquet. (Click on title for full story.)

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Life On Earth Had To Wait 2 Billion Years For Plants To Colonize Dry Land

This time in Earth’s history was a bit of a catch-22 situation. It wasn’t possible to evolve complex life forms because there was not enough oxygen in the atmosphere, and there wasn’t enough oxygen because complex plants hadn’t evolved – It was only when land plants came about did we see a more significant rise in atmospheric oxygen. The history of life on Earth is closely intertwined with the physical and chemical mechanisms of our planet. It is clear that life has had a profound role in creating the world we are used to, and the planet has similarly affected the trajectory of life. I think it’s important people acknowledge the miracle of their own existence and recognise what an amazing planet this is. (Click on title for full story.)

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The Elusive Superstar Plant of Fiji

For now, the tagimoucia continues to inspire Fijians. On a ferry that sails from Taveuni to Suva, I held a tagimoucia clipping given to me by the village chief of Tavuki. The flower turned heads. A young boy whispered “tagimoucia” as he walked past. A woman pointed and mouthed the flower’s name before breaking into a smile. (Click on title for full story.)

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Towards Food Security: This Tree Provides Fruit and Timber In Parched Saline Environments

Economically, socially and environmentally, Dobera glabra is a very valuable tree. One of its many attributes is that its fruit ripens during the drought period, providing food when food is scarce. The tree’s timber is used in heavy construction, for agricultural implements, fuelwood, watering troughs and other domestic items. The leaves can be used as fodder for livestock, and its roots and leaves are used for traditional medicines. In many villages the tree is also planted to provide shade. By domesticating Dobera glabra for on-farm cultivation, we can go a long way towards tackling food insecurity in southern and north eastern Ethiopia and similar environments. (Click on title for full story.)