The creation of new library of mutants of the single-celled photosynthetic green alga, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii enabled a Carnegie- and Princeton University-led team of plant scientists to identify more than 300 genes that are potentially required for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, algae, and some bacteria convert energy from sunlight into carbohydrates -- filling our planet's atmosphere with oxygen as a byproduct.
New University of Montana research suggests climate change makes it increasingly difficult for tree seedlings to regenerate following wildfires in low-elevation forests, which could contribute to abrupt forest loss.
A Yale-led research team conducted an experiment that suggests microbes can specialize within plant species, which can promote plant species diversity and increased seed dispersal.
Research on high-level switches that control wood formation has applications in timber, paper and biofuels, as well as making forests healthier.
Researchers used motion-triggered cameras to capture photographs of wolves, caribou, and other wildlife species in the Canadian Oil Sands to study the habitat use patterns of these animals and test management strategies aimed at reducing the impacts of the linear developments on caribou.
Biological diversity stabilizes species interactions.
Human disturbance reduces forest density, biomass, and richness of species in sacred church forests of northern Ethiopia, according to new research by Catherine L. Cardelús of Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y., and colleagues. These findings appear in PLOS ONE.
Ecologists from the South China Botanical Garden (SCBG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences concluded that such coordination plays an important role in determining global sorting of plant species, and can be useful in predicting future species distribution under climate change scenarios.
Two Canadian biologists propose a better way to assess the conservation value of North American old-growth forests -- using lichens, sensitive bioindicators of environmental change. Old-growth forests are usually defined by tree age, but the authors argue this overlooks the importance of biodiversity in those habitats. Lichens are the ideal candidates to measure this biodiversity. Scorecards with suites of lichens specific to these forests can be developed for use by conservation biologists and forest managers.
A new drought monitoring method developed at Duke University allows scientists to identify the onset of drought sooner, meaning conservation or remediation measures could be put into place sooner. The new method uses thermal stress -- the difference between air and surface temperatures at a site -- as a drought indicator.