A new study in Trends in Ecology and Evolution, which addresses how climate change is affecting the evolution of organisms, underscores the need for evolutionary, ecosystem and climate scientists to work together to better understand eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics.
In a race to prevent and control rust disease epidemics, scientists have positioned themselves to better understand how rust fungi infect crops and evolve virulence.
A large-scale study shows mixed results for hypothesis on how plants deal with climate change.
Understanding nature and its processes has greatly benefitted from open data. Open remotely sensed data make hard-to-reach wilderness areas more accessible -- at least from above. These advances provide new opportunities for Earth system research, such as in a recent soil moisture study by BioGeoClimate Modelling Lab from the Department of Geosciences and Geography at the University of Helsinki.
Plants and microbes engage in a diverse array of symbiotic relationships, but identifying the specific microbes or groups of microbes that contribute to plant health is extremely difficult. In work published on Feb. 20 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, researchers devised a general experimental scheme to identify and predict which small groups of bacterial species can help plants respond to phosphate starvation, a form of nutritional stress.
Human hunting of large Amazon rain forest animals -- such as spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, tapirs and white-lipped peccaries, as well as some bird species such as guans and trumpeters -- is having an impact on the spatial distribution of seeds needed to produce future generations of trees, a new study shows. Ultimately, this could affect the capacity of these forests to serve as 'carbon sinks' that absorb global carbon dioxide emissions.
Farming crops with crushed rocks could help to improve global food security and reduce the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere, a new study has found.
The Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC), led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently embarked on a new mission: to develop sustainable alternatives to transportation fuels and products currently derived from petroleum.
Roots face many challenges in the soil in order to supply the plant with the necessary water and nutrients. New work shows that one of these challenges, salinity, can cause root cells to explode if the risk is not properly sensed. Salinity has deleterious effects on plant health and limits crop yields, because salt inhibits water uptake and can be toxic for plants. But plant biologists discovered a never-before-described effect that salt has on the plant cell wall.
Legumes are widely-consumed plants that use soil bacteria to obtain nitrogen through root nodulation. The process is energetically costly, and so legumes inhibit nodulation when soil nitrate is available. However, the mechanism that drives this inhibition is unknown. Researchers at the University of Tsukuba found that NRSYM1 is responsible for inhibiting nodulation in the presence of nitrate, and acts by directly regulating gene expression. The findings may aid agricultural efforts to improve the crop efficiency of legumes.