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Flora Library > News & Articles

 

Flowers & plants

Forest & trees

  • For one tropical tree, effective seed dispersal relies especially on elephants - Deer, bears, gibbons, but especially elephants, play an important role in seed dispersal for a large-fruited tree in the forests of Thailand, according to a new study. The data illustrate the complexity of forest ecology and hint that, at least for this one species, changes have occurred that have diminished its overall reproductive success.
  • 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free palmyra atoll - New research demonstrates dramatic positive benefits for native trees following rat removal at Palmyra Atoll, a magnificent National Wildlife Refuge and natural research laboratory located about 1000 miles south of Hawaii. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed.
  • Particulate matter increases drought vulnerability of trees - Particulate matter deposits on leaves increase plant transpiration and the risk of plants suffering from drought. Particulate matter could thus be contributing more strongly to tree mortality and forest decline than previously assumed. This is suggested by results from a greenhouse study, in which tree seedlings grown in almost particulate matter free air or in unfiltered air were compared.
 

News & articles

  • Houseplants could one day monitor home health - A student from two unrelated disciplines -- plant sciences and architectural design -- explore the future of houseplants as aesthetically pleasing and functional sirens of home health. Their idea is to genetically engineer house plants to serve as subtle alarms that something is amiss in our home and office environments.
  • How plant breeding technologies could make fruits and vegetables more exciting to eat - Forget vegetables with dull colors and fuzzy skin or fruits that lack of flavor -- the produce aisle of the future could offer plant products that are designed for creative cooks and fussy eaters. In a new article, food researchers describe how new breeding technologies have the potential to enhance the shape, size, color, and health benefits of produce, as well as to inform conventional breeding programs.
  • New insights into plants' conquest of land - The ancestors of land plants were string-like (2D), aquatic green algae that looked very different from the three-dimensional (3D), upright stems and leaves of plants we are familiar with today. Now, researchers have revealed exciting insights into how land plants evolved these 3D forms that were crucial for their advancement onto land.