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Forest & trees

  • Beetles changed their diet during the Cretaceous period - Like a snapshot, amber preserves bygone worlds. Paleontologists have now described four new beetle species in fossilized tree resin from Myanmar, which belong to the Kateretidae family. As well as the about 99 million years old insects, the amber also includes pollen. It seems that the beetles helped the flowering plants to victory, because they contributed to their propagation.
  • The life and death of one of America's most mysterious trees - A symbol of life, ancient sundial or just firewood? Tree-ring scientists trace the origin of a tree log unearthed almost a century ago.
  • Magnolia bark compound could someday help treat drug-resistant epilepsy - In patients with epilepsy, normal neurological activity becomes disrupted, causing debilitating seizures. Now, researchers report that they have found a potential new treatment for this disorder by turning to traditional Chinese medicine. Tests of extracts from plants used in these ancient remedies led the team to one compound, derived from a magnolia tree, that could quell drug-resistant seizures in both fish and mice.  

News & articles

  • Under extreme heat and drought, trees hardly benefit from an increased CO2 level - The increase in the CO2 concentration of the atmosphere does not compensate the negative effect of greenhouse gas-induced climate change on trees: The more extreme drought and heat become, the less do trees profit from the increased supply with carbon dioxide in terms of carbon metabolism and water use efficiency. This finding was obtained by researchers of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) when studying Aleppo pines. Their study is reported in New Phytologist (DOI: 10.1111/nph.16471).
  • eDNA provides researchers with 'more than meets the eye' - Researchers have used next generation DNA sequencing to learn more about the different species of plants, insects and animals present in the Pilbara and Perth regions of Western Australia.
  • Plants and animals aren't so different when it comes to climate - A new study reveals that plants and animals are remarkably similar in their responses to changing environmental conditions across the globe, which may help explain how they are distributed today and how they will respond to climate change in the future.