Growing global demand for palm oil has led to a rapid spread of oil palm monoculture plantations in South East Asia, often associated with the loss of habitats and biodiversity. Plantations are uniformly structured, offering little space for different species. Diversification using indigenous tree species can help. Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Jambi found diversification can be encouraged through information campaigns and free seedlings. Research was published in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management.
For vegetable growers, weeds can mean lost income from reduced yield and foreign plant matter contaminating the harvest. But for many crops, particularly vegetable legumes, weed management options are very limited.
What exactly is the relationship between soil nitrogen, corn yield, and nitrogen loss? Most farmers would be forgiven for assuming a straightforward linear relationship: more nitrogen, more grain yield, and maybe, more loss. That's the assumption many nitrogen management models are based on, but it turns out there's very little published science to back up that assumption.
The inflorescences of grasses often have very different shapes. An international research team led by IPK has now succeeded in identifying a gene that plays a decisive role in ensuring that barley develops its characteristic slender inflorescences, called spikes. Compared to other grasses, the COMPOSITUM1 (COM1) gene has acquired a new function during grass evolution. The results have today been published in Nature Communications magazine.
Using the model Orobanchaceae parasitic plant Phtheirospermum japonicum, scientists have discerned the molecular mechanisms underlying plant parasitism and cross-species grafting, pinpointing enzyme β-1,4-glucanase (GH9B3) as an important contributor to both phenomena. Targeting this enzyme may help control plant parasitism in crops.
The COVID-19 pandemic provides an opportunity to reset the global economy and reverse decades of ecosystem and species losses, but most countries are failing to invest in nature-related economic reforms or investments, according to a Rutgers-led paper.
A team of scientists at Utah State University has developed a new tool to forecast drought and water flow in the Colorado River several years in advance. Although the river's headwaters are in landlocked Wyoming and Colorado, water levels are linked to sea surface temperatures in parts of the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and the water's long-term ocean memory. "Colorado River water supply is predictable on multi-year timescales owing to long-term ocean memory" was published in Communications Earth and Environment.
For seven years now, the University of California system has been working hard to reduce its carbon emissions as part of its Carbon Neutrality Initiative. Each campus has been charged with finding ways to cut greenhouse gas emissions through a variety of measures -- such as increased energy efficiency and replacement of fossil fuel sources with renewable energy -- to meet milestones on the road to carbon neutrality.
In a new study in Nature, climate researchers have drawn the clearest lines yet around the problem of nitrous oxide in Earth's atmosphere. The potent greenhouse gas has both natural and human sources and, compared to CO2, is difficult to remove from the air, where it 'lives' for about 116 years.
On average, men not only showed less empathy toward temporary agricultural laborers but also were less likely to see food supply and production as national security issues, according to a study led by a Washington State University researcher.