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robertogreco : botany   21

The Miyawaki Method: A Better Way to Build Forests? | JSTOR Daily
"India’s forest production company is following the tenets of the master Japanese botanist, restoring biodiversity in resource-depleted communities."
forests  plants  india  japan  biodiversity  botany  multispecies  morethanhuman  miyawakimethod  akiramiyawaki  afforestation  timber 
7 weeks ago by robertogreco
Scientists Still Can't Decide How to Define a Tree - The Atlantic
"So far, there is no standout gene or set of genes that confers tree-ness, nor any particular genome feature. Complexity? Nope: Full-on, whole-genome duplication (an often-used proxy for complexity) is prevalent throughout the plant kingdom. Genome size? Nope: Both the largest and smallest plant genomes belong to herbaceous species (Paris japonica and Genlisea tuberosa, respectively—the former a showy little white-flowered herb, the latter a tiny, carnivorous thing that traps and eats protozoans).

A chat with Neale confirms that tree-ness is probably more about what genes are turned on than what genes are present. “From the perspective of the genome, they basically have all the same stuff as herbaceous plants,” he said. “Trees are big, they’re woody, they can get water from the ground to up high. But there does not seem to be some profound unique biology that distinguishes a tree from a herbaceous plant.”

Notwithstanding the difficulty in defining them, being a tree has undeniable advantages—it allows plants to exploit the upper reaches where they can soak up sunlight and disperse pollen and seeds with less interference than their ground-dwelling kin. So maybe it’s time to start thinking of tree as a verb, rather than a noun—tree-ing, or tree-ifying. It’s a strategy, a way of being, like swimming or flying, even though to our eyes it’s happening in very slow motion. Tree-ing with no finish in sight—until an ax, or a pest, or a bolt of Thanksgiving lightning strikes it down."
biology  botany  classification  trees  2018  verbs  rachelehrenberg  plants  science  genetics  multispecies  wood  longevity  andrewgroover  ronaldlanner  evolution  davidneale  genomes  complexity 
april 2018 by robertogreco
Drupe - Wikipedia
"In botany, a drupe (or stone fruit) is an indehiscent fruit in which an outer fleshy part (exocarp, or skin; and mesocarp, or flesh) surrounds a single shell (the pit, stone, or pyrene) of hardened endocarp with a seed (kernel) inside.[1] These fruits usually develop from a single carpel, and mostly from flowers with superior ovaries[1] (polypyrenous drupes are exceptions). The definitive characteristic of a drupe is that the hard, "lignified" stone (or pit) is derived from the ovary wall of the flower—in an aggregate fruit composed of small, individual drupes (such as a raspberry), each individual is termed a drupelet and may together form a botanic berry.

Other fleshy fruits may have a stony enclosure that comes from the seed coat surrounding the seed, but such fruits are not drupes.

Some flowering plants that produce drupes are coffee, jujube, mango, olive, most palms (including date, sabal, coconut and oil palms), pistachio, white sapote, cashew, and all members of the genus Prunus, including the almond (in which the mesocarp is somewhat leathery), apricot, cherry, damson, nectarine, peach, and plum.

The term drupaceous is applied to a fruit which has the structure and texture of a drupe,[2] but which does not precisely fit the definition of a drupe."
fruit  classideas  stonefruits  peaches  vocabulary  botany  plants  science 
march 2018 by robertogreco
The sound of a plant dying of thirst › News in Science (ABC Science)
"That is the sound of a plant dying of thirst. Heartbreaking isn't it?

As a plant's water source dries out, small bubbles form in the xylem — the hollow strands that carry water from the soil to the leaves of vascular plants.

The recording was made 30 years ago by Dr Kim Ritman, using a very low-fi phone receiver with a pin soldered onto it to amplify the sound.

Ritman, who is now chief scientist at the Department of Agriculture, spent a good part of his PhD poking the pin into leaf stems of plants and recording the clicks as bubbles formed. The idea was to see if the diameter of the xylem determined the frequency of the sound, and he found that the larger the xylem, the lower the clicking sound.

"In general, our hypothesis that larger conduits produced lower frequency signals and smaller units at the ultrasonic frequencies was supported", he writes in his study Acoustic Emissions from Plants: Ultrasonic and Audible Compared."
via:anne  plants  audio  sounds  botany  physics  nature  biology  kimritman 
may 2015 by robertogreco
Amazing Graphics Show How Much Peaches, Watermelon And Corn Have Changed Since Humans Started Growing Them | Business Insider
"If someone handed you a peach 6,000 years ago, you might be surprised: the sour, grape-sized lump you’d be holding would hardly resemble the plump, juicy fruit we enjoy today.

Throughout the 12,000 years or so since humans first developed agriculture, the foods we eat have undergone drastic transformations. Farmers have found ways to select for different traits when breeding plants, turning out generations of larger, sweeter, and juicier crops.

Australian chemistry teacher James Kennedy got interested in the topic and started doing some research. His findings inspired him to put together a series of infographics [http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/artificial-vs-natural-watermelon-sweetcorn/ ]explaining how some of our most beloved snacks have changed over the centuries. With Kennedy’s permission we’ve posted three here: Peach, watermelon, and corn.

First up is the peach:

[image]

Native to China, the original peach was only a fraction of the size we’re used to today and tasted “like a lentil,” Kennedy writes.

“After 6000 years of artificial selection, the resulting peach was 16 times larger, 27% juicier and 4% sweeter than its wild cousin, and had massive increases in nutrients essential for human survival as well.”

Next, the watermelon:

[image]

Kennedy writes, “I set out to find the least natural fruit in existence, and decided it was probably the modern watermelon.In 5,000 years, the watermelon has expanded from its original six varieties to a staggering 1,200 different kinds. Modern watermelons are available in a handful of different colours and shapes, and can be bought conveniently seedless.

“Originally native to a small region of southern Africa, the watermelon is now grown in countries around the world. Modern watermelons are about 100 times heavier than their ancient predecessors and much sweeter.”

Finally, corn:

[image]

Corn was first domesticated in the area we know today as Mexico and Central America. At the time, an ear of corn was only about a tenth as long as the cobs we’re used to today and had just a handful of tough kernels. For the sweet, juicy meal we enjoy today, Kennedy says you can thank the Europeans.

“Around half of this artificial selection happened since the fifteenth century, when European settlers placed new selection pressures on the crop to suit their exotic taste buds,” he writes.

As you can see, we’ve come a long way from the days of our ancestors and the small, unappetizing fruits they munched on.

Click here [http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com ] to check out more of Kennedy’s work at his blog."

[watermelon and sweetcorn:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/artificial-vs-natural-watermelon-sweetcorn/

peach:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/09/artificial-vs-natural-peach/

blueberries:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/ingredients-of-all-natural-blueberries/

cherries:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/19/ingredients-of-all-natural-cherries/

lemon:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/17/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-lemon/

strawberry:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/22/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-strawberry/

pineapple:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-pineapple/

passionfruit:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/19/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-passionfruit/

banana: http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2013/12/12/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-banana/

coffee bean:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/07/26/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-coffee-bean/

egg:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/05/ingredients-of-an-all-natural-egg/

beetroot:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/26/if-beetroots-had-ingredients-labels/

banana, blueberry, egg:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/bananablueberryegg-ingredients-posters-pdfs/

“Ingredients” lesson plan:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/02/27/ingredients-lesson-plan/

poster set:
http://jameskennedymonash.wordpress.com/2014/08/26/full-poster-set-just-99-with-free-world-shipping/ ]
fruit  history  cultivation  peaches  watermelons  corn  produce  agriculture  breeding  jameskennedy  strawberries  pineapples  lemons  cherris  passionfruit  bananas  food  blueberries  ingredients  lessonplans  teaching  chemistry  science  biology  botany  genetics 
october 2014 by robertogreco
Trees | The Evergreen State College
"How do trees, and forest communities, function? What makes them tick? What determines the tallest trees in the world? What makes trees some of the oldest organisms on earth? These and many other questions about trees have captivated humans since the dawn of time. In this program we will closely examine trees in their variety of form and function. We will use our studies to learn how understanding of tree form and function integrates study of botany, mathematics, physics, chemistry, geography and ecology.

Our studies will be divided between those that focus on individual trees, forests and whole forests. We will also read classic and recent texts about human interactions with trees and how our relationships to trees still help shape our collective identities and cultures. Students will learn how to read and interpret recent scientific studies from peer-reviewed journals and be challenged to reconcile popular belief about the roles of trees with scientific observations. Day trips, workshops, labs and a multiple-day field trip will allow us to observe some of the largest trees on the West Coast and observe and measure trees in extreme environments. Communication skills will be emphasized, particularly reading scientific articles and writing for scientific audiences. We will also practice skills for communicating to a broader public using nonfiction and technical writing."
evergreenstatecollege  coursedescriptions  programdescriptions  2014  biology  botany  environment  environmentalstudies  naturalhistory  riting  fieldstudies  forestry  trees  plants  ecology  naturalscience  science  dylanfischer 
september 2014 by robertogreco
The Flora of the Future: Wild Urban Plants: Celebrating the Botanical Diversity of Cities Places: Design Observer:
"New Infrastructural Taxonomies

The plants that appear spontaneously in urban ecosystems are remarkable for their ability to grow under extremely harsh conditions — most notably in soils that are relatively infertile, dry, unshaded and alkaline. [14] Through a quirk of evolutionary fate, many of these plants have evolved life-history traits in their native habitats that have “preadapted” them to flourish in cities. Stone or brick buildings, for example, are analogous to naturally occurring limestone cliffs. [15] Similarly, the increased use of de-icing salts along walkways and highways has resulted in the development of high pH microhabitats that are often colonized by either grassland species adapted to limestone soils or salt-loving plants from coastal habitats. Preadaptation is a useful idea for understanding the emergent ecology of cities because it helps explain the patterns of distribution of plants growing in a variety of distinctive urban habitats, including the following:

The chain-link fence is one of the more specialized habitats of the urban environment. They provide plants — especially vines — with a convenient trellis to spread out on and a measure of protection from the predation of maintenance crews. Chain-link fences also provide “safe sites” for the germination of seeds, a manifestation of which are the straight lines of spontaneous urban trees that one commonly finds in cities, long after the fence that protected the trees is gone. Root suckering species such as Ailanthus grow particularly well along chain-link fence lines.

Vacant lots that have been cleared of buildings are often mulched with masonry and construction rubble. Their soils typically have high pH levels, and they are usually colonized by a suite of plants that I like to refer to as a “cosmopolitan urban meadow.” Many of these plants, including mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris) and curly dock (Rumex crispus), are common in the dry, alkaline grasslands of Europe.

The highway median strip is typically only a few feet wide, with minimal topsoil above a compacted subsoil layer. Initially these areas may have been planted with lawn grasses, but they usually end up dominated by crabgrass (Digitaria spp.). As most homeowners know, crabgrass comes up in lawns in late spring, when temperatures consistently get above 70 or 80 degrees. It’s a warm-season grass that thrives when it’s hot and dry, and because it is an annual species, the road salt used in winter has no effect on its development. In short, the median strip is perfect for crabgrass.

Stone walls and masonry building façades provide great habitats for plants — especially when their maintenance has been neglected. From the plant’s perspective, these structures are good stand-ins for a limestone cliff, and many cliff species are well adapted to growing on city walls. [16]

Pavement cracks are among the most distinctive niches in the urban environment. Wherever you have two types of paving material coming together, you have a seam, and the different materials expand differentially in response to summer and winter temperature to create a crack. We tend to think of pavement cracks as stressful habitats, but in fact, as the water sheets off the pavement, it flows right into the crack, making it a rich site in terms of its ability to accumulate moisture and nutrients. With oil from cars as a carbohydrate source available for decomposition by fungi and bacteria, cracks can develop significant microbial diversity.

Specialized microclimates are as important in cities as they are in natural environments. As an example, carpetweed (Mollugo verticillata), a summer annual from Central America, subsists only on air-conditioner drip. Its seeds germinate under a window air-conditioning unit when it is turned on in early summer, and it dries up and sets seed when the unit is turned off in September. Many annuals common in cities display similar capacities to exploit ephemeral urban niches.

River corridors, annually disturbed by fluctuating levels of water during the course of the year, are typically dominated by spontaneous vegetation with broad environmental adaptability. They serve as important pathways for the migration of both plants and animals into and out of the city. The same is true for railway corridors. At the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, where I have worked since 1979, coyote, deer, fox and pheasant are commonly sighted, often coming up from the suburban south following the railroad line that borders the eastern edge of the property."
peterdeltredici  2014  nature  plants  flora  interstitial  interstitialspaces  borders  boundaries  urban  urbanism  between  fences  biology  cities  botany  landscape  ecology  vegetation  betweenness 
april 2014 by robertogreco
Who Eucalyptized Southern California? | LA as Subject | SoCal Focus | KCET
"Historical accounts vary, but according to tradition the first blue gums arrived in Southern California in 1865, when fur trapper-turned-farmer William Wolfskill planted five specimens outside his house -- the Hugo Reid Adobe -- on Rancho Santa Anita. An agricultural experimenter who made a fortune growing oranges, walnuts, and wine grapes, Wolfskill must have recognized the eucalyptus' potential to upset the commercial timber market; although conifers grew in the mountains, the lowlands of Southern California were mostly treeless plains, broken by isolated copses of live oak and sycamore. The fast-growing eucalyptus could provide a large, local supply of timber in short order."

[See also: http://www.independent.com/news/2011/jan/15/how-eucalyptus-came-california/ ]
california  botany  history  trees  eucalyptus  glvo 
march 2013 by robertogreco
Stephanie Syjuko — Comparative Morphologies, 2001
"What looks like vintage natural history studies turns out to be, on closer inspection, images of computer and technological cords and peripherals, each slightly manipulated to take on organic characteristics--a fused or sprouting growth from a stem, a viral infection, or a radial symmetry.<br />
<br />
I used a digital camera to photograph the computer cords and peripherals that surrounded my home workstation, and then transferred them to the computer where i digitally altered and added to the original images. Arranged suggestively on an image of a vintage print (the original botanical images on it having been erased), the techie beginnings become transformed into the final archival-quality iris prints."
2001  electronics  morphology  illustration  photography  design  art  stephaniesyjuco  nature  vintage  botany 
february 2011 by robertogreco
Leaves Show Looped Networks May Be Better Than Branched | Wired Science | Wired.com
"In the simulations, the looped network performed better than nonlooped ones in several important ways, the team reported Jan. 29 in Physical Review Letters. Damage from hungry insects, cold weather or parasites can interrupt leaves’ normal venation patterns. Connected circular veins allowed the flow of water and minerals to circumvent areas where veins were destroyed, the team shows. The looped network also allowed leaves to easily adjust the flow rate of water through veins, which can help leaves conserve water on a hot day, Katifori says."
science  botany  plants  leaves  trees  networks  patterns  loops 
february 2010 by robertogreco
Novelties - Foliage Field Guides for Cellphones - NYTimes.com
"THE traditional way to identify an unfamiliar tree is to pull out a field guide and search its pages for a matching description. One day people may pull out a smartphone instead, photographing a leaf from the mystery tree and then having the phone search for matching images in a database.
trees  iphone  applications  identification  botany  inventory  csiap  ios 
may 2009 by robertogreco
Emergence Of Agriculture In Prehistory Took Much Longer, Genetic Evidence Suggests
"Until recently researchers say the story of the origin of agriculture was one of a relatively sudden appearance of plant cultivation in the Near East around 10,000 years ago spreading quickly into Europe and dovetailing conveniently with ideas about how quickly language and population genes spread from the Near East to Europe. Initially, genetics appeared to support this idea but now cracks are beginning to appear in the evidence underpinning that model"
archaeology  history  farming  human  culture  society  food  agriculture  genetics  middleeast  botany  civilization  tcsnmy  classideas 
september 2008 by robertogreco
BBC NEWS | Americas | Scientists advance 'drought crop'
"Scientists say they have made a key breakthrough in understanding the genes of plants that could lead to crops that can survive in a drought."
agriculture  botany  disasters  drought  environment  genetics  science  technology  future  food 
february 2008 by robertogreco
Big Mac: The whole world on your plate
"found the meal (Big Mac, French fries and a cup of coffee) contained approximately 20 different species and ingredients that originated around the world...leads to conclusion that “Big Mac is apt symbol of globalization."
botany  food  nutrition  global  globalization 
february 2008 by robertogreco
ScienceDaily: Clever Plants 'Chat' Over Their Own Network
"Recent research from Vidi researcher Josef Stuefer at the Radboud University Nijmegen reveals that plants have their own chat systems that they can use to warn each other."
biology  botany  plants  networks  communication  science 
october 2007 by robertogreco
Grape Expectations: Vines May Love Vivaldi
"Just in through the grapevine: Music helps grow healthier plants. That's the preliminary result of research by Italian scientists who have been examining vineyards exposed to classical music to see if sound makes the plants grow larger and more quickly."
botany  music  wine  science  plants  sound  agriculture 
june 2007 by robertogreco
Math Trek: The Mathematical Lives of Plants, Science News Online, May 5, 2007
"The seeds of a sunflower, the spines of a cactus, and the bracts of a pine cone all grow in whirling spiral patterns. Remarkable for their complexity and beauty, they also show consistent mathematical patterns that scientists have been striving to unders
art  beauty  biology  botany  math  patterns  nature  flora  structure  science  plants 
may 2007 by robertogreco
PingMag - Vertical Garden: The art of organic architecture
"Patrick Blanc overgrows the vertical surfaces of buildings in the most beautiful way. What he creates is far away from any fancy horticultural show, his Vertical Garden could rather be called eco-art, or greener architecture consisting of a variety of pl
architecture  art  botany  design  plants  nature  pingmag 
december 2006 by robertogreco
Carnivorous Creations(TM)
"This deluxe Carnivorous Creations kit has seeds from over 10 varieties of carnivorous plants, including the Cobra Plant, Venus Fly Trap, Pitcher Plant, Trumpet Plant and more. You'll make your won authentic bog with the included peat planting mix, blue S
science  biology  diy  botany 
february 2006 by robertogreco

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