A new database of leaves promise not only to help identify plants around us, but also to identify plants known only from fossils.Continue reading New Leaf Database Could Help Identify Extinct Plants
Flora: Inside the Secret World of Plants by DK [Dorling Kindersley] with contribution by Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, 2018. Dorling Kindersley. Dorling Kindersley’s Flora: Inside the secret world of plants [hereafter referred to as DK’s Flora] is a stunning book. However, with no Introduction, one can be forgiven for not being entirely sure what DK’s Flora aims to achieve. In the book’s Foreword, Prof. Kathy Willis – formerly Director of Science at RBG Kew, which renowned plant science organisation is a co-publisher of the book – states that: “This book starts to redress this balance [contribution of plants to all...Continue reading Visually stunning: Flora for juvenile – and adult – fauna
Sometimes the best strategy for a young plant is not the same as the best strategy for an old plant. Some heteroblastic plants can switch how they grow but what triggers this?Continue reading When does Acacia koa know it’s time to grow up?
With climate change, plants start colonising new areas, but how will new regions become tropical? A new study hints at the start of the process.Continue reading Botanists see the start of tropicalisation
Fibre concentration and dry matter content can be considered as good predictors of both digestibility and decomposability.Continue reading Traits control the digestibility-decomposition relationship
Nature’s Fabric: Leaves in Science and Culture by David Lee, 2017. University of Chicago Press. Ever so occasionally one comes across a book that makes one think, “That’s the book I’d like to have written”. Well, for me, David Lee’s Nature’s Fabric: Leaves in Science and Culture [hereafter referred to as Lee’s Leaves], is just such a book. Simply put, it’s a celebration of all things leafy. But, it’s not just leaves as major photosynthetic organs of plants. Certainly, as a book on leaves written by a Professor of Botany, a good chunk of the text is devoted to aspects...Continue reading What do you know about leaves???
Does “Essentials of Developmental Plant Anatomy” cover the essentials of developmental plant anatomy? Nigel Chaffey looks over the introductory textbook.Continue reading Plant anatomy goes back to its roots (stems, leaves…)
Recently it has been demonstrated that Si nutrition can alleviate Fe deficiency chlorosis in cucumber (Cucumis sativus) by enhancing acquisition and root-to-shoot translocation of Fe. Here, Pavlovic et al. show that Si induces Fe mobilization in older (sink) leaves and increases its retranslocation to younger (source) leaves. In older leaves, Si enhanced expression of NAS1 transcripts responsible for an increased tissue concentration of Fe chelator nicotianamine (NA). This was paralleled by an increased expression of the YSL1 transporter and hence more efficient movement of Fe-NA complex from source to sink leaves via the phloem.Continue reading Silicon enhances leaf remobilization of iron in cucumber
We rightly salute fungi and bacteria as being indispensable to the decomposition processes that breaks down dead organic matter into inorganic components that can then be recycled through the biosphere in those all-important biogeochemical cycles. However, those microbes benefit from the activity of other organisms that break down larger biological units into smaller, more manageable chunks. One of nature’s most important – though largely unsung – heroes in this respect is the earthworm. A measure of the worm’s importance is the realisation that it is largely by dint of their industry that we aren’t knee-deep in rotting leaves at this...Continue reading Coping with phenol-rich foodstuffs
In aeroplane design, the leading edge is either “the part of the wing that first contacts the air … or … the foremost edge of an airfoil section“. Plants – as one might expect – have a different take on that (and got there first). Musing on the role played by trichomes [outgrowths from plant surfaces of diverse structure and function, e.g. hairs, scales, and papillae, George Wagner et al., Ann Bot 93: 3-11, (2004)] on leaf surfaces and margins (the edges of plants…), Gerjat Vermeij has come up with a rather interesting interpretation for the role that some of...Continue reading Plant Science at the leading edge
Draco cornutus lizards live longer thanks to leaf-like colouration and mimicry.Continue reading Looks like leaf-like lizards live longer
Scientific Data: an open-access, online-only journal for descriptions of scientifically valuable datasets, to help publish, discover & reuse research data.Continue reading Clear way ahead for leaf research