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Flora Library > News & Articles

 

Forest & trees

  • This tree snake climbs with a lasso-like motion - Researchers have discovered that invasive brown tree snakes living on Guam can get around in a way that had never been seen before. The discovery of the snake's lasso-like locomotion for climbing their way up smooth vertical cylinders has important implications, both for understanding the snakes and for conservation practices aimed at protecting birds from them.
  • Conifers can be green because of a photosynthetic short-cut - How can conifers that are used, for example, as Christmas trees, keep their green needles over the boreal winter when most trees shed their leaves? Science has not provided a good answer to this question but now an international team of scientists has deciphered that a short-cut in the photosynthetic machinery allows the needles of pine trees to stay green.
  • A new species of mammal may have been found in Africa's montane forests - A research team has discovered a tree hyrax in the Taita Hills, Kenya, which may belong to a species previously unknown to science.

News & articles

  • Micro-climate molds and reshapes northern insect communities, herbivory and predation - Climate and changes in it have direct impacts on species of plant and animals - but climate may also shape more complex biological systems like food webs. Now a research group has investigated how micro-climate shapes each level of the ecosystem, from species' abundances in predator communities to parasitism rates in key herbivores, and ultimately to damage suffered by plants. The results reveal how climate change may drastically reshape northern ecosystems.
  • Earth to reach temperature tipping point in next 20 to 30 years, new study finds - An international team looked at 20 years of data from throughout the world and found that record-breaking temperatures are contributing to a significant decrease in plants' ability to absorb human-caused carbon emissions.
  • Compound from medicinal herb kills brain-eating amoebae in lab studies - Primary amoebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), a deadly disease caused by the 'brain-eating amoeba' Naegleria fowleri, is becoming more common in some areas of the world, and it has no effective treatment. Now, researchers have found that a compound isolated from the leaves of a traditional medicinal plant, Inula viscosa or 'false yellowhead,' kills the amoebae by causing them to commit cell suicide in lab studies, which could lead to new treatments.