Tag: american journal of botany

Will loss of plant diversity compromise Earth’s life-support systems?

Biodiversity around the world is increasingly threatened by global warming, habitat loss, and other human impacts. But what does this loss of species mean for the functioning of ecosystems that humans depend on for goods and services? Can ec...

Islands in the sky: How isolated are mountain top plant populations?

Do mountain tops act as sky islands for species that live at high elevations? Are plant populations on these mountain tops isolated from one another because the valleys between them act as barriers, or can pollinators act as bridges allowing gen...

Blast from the past: Jack pine genetics support a coastal glacial...

Can a road-trip across eastern North America, ancient ice sheets, and DNA samples unlock the ancestral history of jack pine trees? Julie Godbout and colleagues from the Université Laval, Quebec, Canada, certainly hoped that driving across northeas...

Can cacti ‘escape’ underground in high temperatures?

In the scorching summer heat of the Chihuahuan Desert in southwest Texas, air temperatures can hover around 97°F (36°C) while at the surface of the soil temperatures can exceed 158°F (70°C). Encountering these extreme temperatures, plant...

Nanotechnology: A dead end for plant cells?

Using particles that are 1/100,000 the width of a human hair to deliver drugs to cells or assist plants in fighting off pests may sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but these scenarios may be a common occurrence in the near future....

How some plants spread their seeds: Ready, set, catapult

Catapults are often associated with a medieval means of destruction, but for some plants, they are an effective way to launch new life. Dispersing seeds greater distances by catapulting can provide selective advantages, including the establish...

The risks and benefits of using poplars for biofuels

A potential solution for global energy demands is the use of Poplar, a fast-growing tree with high yields, for biofuels. To get the most out of Poplar plantations, varieties that are the best fit for the conditions -- ones with disease resistance or...

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