Leaf-feeding caterpillars greatly enrich their intestinal flora by eating soil. It's even possible to trace the legacy effects of plants that previously grew in that soil through bacteria and fungi in the caterpillars. Researchers of the Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW) have just published these findings in the journal Nature Communications. They are of interest not just to scientists, but also to plant growers and farmers.
When more women are involved in group decisions about land management, the group conserves more - particularly when offered financial incentives to do so, according to a new University of Colorado Boulder study published this week in Nature Climate Change.
Weeds often emerge at the same time as vulnerable crop seedlings and sneak between plants as crops grow. How do farmers kill them without harming the crops themselves? In a new University of Illinois study, researchers identify genes and metabolic pathways responsible for safener efficacy in grain sorghum.
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.
An international team based in Ghent, Belgium (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) and Basel, Switzerland (University of Basel) found a link between a class of enzymes and immune signals that is rapidly triggered upon physical damage in plants. This new discovery will increase our understanding of the plant immune system and might be exploited to improve crop health and yield in the future.
Meadows adjacent to high-intensity agricultural areas are home to less than half the number of butterfly species than areas in nature preserves. The number of individuals is even down to one-third of that number. These are results of a research team led by Jan Christian Habel at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Thomas Schmitt at the Senckenberg Nature Research Society.
A global research team including scientists from La Trobe University have identified specific locations within plants' chromosomes capable of transferring immunity to their offspring.
Honey bee colonies foraging on land with a strong cover of clover species and alfalfa do more than three times as well than if they are put next to crop fields of sunflowers or canola, according to a study just published in Scientific Reports by an Agricultural Research Service scientist and his colleagues.
A new model quantifies how forest change affects local surface temperatures by altering sunlight-reflection and evapotranspiration properties, and predicts that Brazilian deforestation could result in a 1.45°C increase by 2050, in a study published March 20, 2019, in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Jayme A. Prevedello from the Rio de Janeiro State University, Brazil, and colleagues.
Natural selection predicts that mutualisms -- interactions between members of different species that benefit both parties -- should fall apart. Individuals that gain from the cooperation of others but do not reciprocate (so-called cheaters) should arise and destabilize mutualisms. Yet to date, surprisingly little evidence of such cheating or destabilization exists. A team of biologists at the University of California, Riverside, has now found strong evidence of this cheating.