Harvester ants that eat weed seeds on the soil's surface can help farmers manage weeds on their farms, according to an international team of researchers, who found that tilling less to preserve the ants could save farmers fuel and labor costs, as well as preserve water and improve soil quality.
Scientists at the University of Florida Space Plants Lab are using the single-image normalized difference vegetation index (SI-NDVI), a popular metric of plant health and photosynthetic rate originally developed for satellite-based monitoring of plant growth, to monitor crop health in indoor farming conditions. SI-NDVI allowed detection of stress signatures before stress was visible to the naked eye, proving the technique can be useful whether plants are grown in space or right here on Earth.
Climate change could have devastating effects on vulnerable residents in the Andes mountains and the Tibetan plateau, according to researchers at The Ohio State University who have been studying glaciers in those areas for decades.
Warmer winters may not provide sufficient chilling for blackcurrants in the UK, delaying the start of the growing season and resulting in reduced yields and lower fruit quality, researchers have found. Speaking at the British Ecological Society's annual meeting in Birmingham today, a research group based at the James Hutton Institute highlights that milder winters may cause blackcurrant crops to flower later in the year, produce fewer fruit, and over repeated years, have a reduced plant lifespan.
La Trobe University-led research has found that plants are extremely sensitive to touch and that repeated touching can significantly retard growth. The findings, just published in The Plant Journal, could lead to new approaches to optimizing plant growth and productivity -- from field-based farming to intensive horticulture production.
A new Cornell University-led study shows that Midwest agriculture is increasingly vulnerable to climate change because of the region's reliance on growing rain-fed crops.
Policymakers and researchers have underestimated the effect that changes in land management and people's diets would have on limiting greenhouse gas emissions and countering the effects of climate change, according to a study led by Princeton University.
Regulators worldwide currently use honeybees as the sole model species failing to account for potential threats posed by agrochemicals to the full diversity of bee species from bumblebees to solitary bees, which are probably more important for pollination of food crops than managed honeybees. They are potentially more vulnerable to pesticides given they nest in the ground and bumblebee queens have different life cycles that could increase exposure.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a new scientific report on the current status of the spread of African swine fever within the EU. The report describes, among other things, which management measures EU member states should take if an isolated outbreak of the virus infection occurs, i.e. if it is detected far away from the current spread. The scientific basis for these recommendations comes from a modelling team based at the UFZ.
A new study shows that several species of bats are giving Madagascar's rice farmers a vital pest control service by feasting on plagues of insects. And this, a zoologist at the University of Cambridge believes, can ease the financial pressure on farmers to turn forest into fields.