Scientists studying a valuable, but vulnerable, species of poplar have identified the genetic mechanism responsible for the species' inability to resist a pervasive and deadly disease. Their finding, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to more successful hybrid poplar varieties for increased biofuels and forestry production and protect native trees against infection.
A University of Colorado Denver-led research team for the first time developed reliable genetic markers known as nuclear microsatellites for the whitebark pine, a discovery that could improve the tree's prospects for survival. Whitebark pine, which is declining rapidly nearly range-wide, is currently being considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act.
Moss, one of the world's oldest plants, is surprisingly in tune with the atmosphere around it. Now in a study appearing in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry, scientists report that they have found a simple and inexpensive way to detect air pollutants, specifically sulfur dioxide, in real time based on subtle changes in moss leaves. The discovery could rapidly alert authorities to potentially dangerous alterations in air quality using a sustainable, natural plant sensor.
Utah State University researchers Paul Rogers and Darren McAvoy have conducted the first complete assessment of the Pando aspen clone and the results show continuing deterioration of this 'forest of one tree.' While a portion of the famed grove is recovery nicely as a result of previous restoration, the majority of Pando (Latin for 'I Spread') is diminishing by attrition.
Can humans drive economic growth, meet rising demand for food, energy and water, and make significant environmental progress? The short answer is 'yes,' but it comes with several big 'ifs.' New research shows that we can put the world on a path to sustainability if we make significant changes within the next 10 years.
A formula used to calculate basic wood density has recently been corrected. Basic density is widely used to compute carbon storage by trees. Researchers estimate that the error in the initial formula resulted in an overestimation of forest carbon stocks, to the tune of almost 5 percent. These results were published in the scientific journal American Journal of Botany on 16 October.
The population of a tropical tree increases mostly in places where it is rare, a Brown study found.
While temperatures in the tropical forests of northeastern Puerto Rico have climbed two degrees Celsius since the mid-1970s, the biomass of arthropods - invertebrate animals such as insects, millipedes, and sowbugs - has declined by as much as 60-fold, according to new findings published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
The story of mankind's presence on the planet can be told by studying the sediment and soil accumulation of these chemical compounds in human feces. Scientists at Ca' Foscari University of Venice and the Institute for the Dynamics of Environmental Processes (CNR) have proven the presence of the individuals who colonized the oceanic islands, and the resulting environmental transformation. The study has been published in Scientific Reports
Restoring forests has become a world-wide strategy for simultaneously addressing the challenges of climate change and biodiversity conservation. In a new study, scientists at Point Blue Conservation Science assessed how successful restoration efforts in California's Central Valley were at these two goals. Key among the findings was the conclusion that, in some cases, optimizing for carbon storage may come at the expense of biodiversity.