Plant Perspicacity

A species of pitcher plant growing in Borneo has been found to strategize its prey catching capabilities in order to maximize the windfall. This pitcher plant, Nepenthes spp.,  is able to  adjust the slipperiness of its characteristic pitfall trap in response to changing weather conditions so as to dine on large number of ants at…

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Rainforest Retention

A recent NASA study has found that tropical rainforests are increasingly absorbing more carbon dioxide in response to rising levels of greenhouse gases in the environment. These forests are acting as a sink for 1.4 billion metric tons, a little more than half of the 2.5 billion metric tons absorbed worldwide. This NASA study also…

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Horticultural Head Count

In mid-December the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (USDA NASS) launched its horticultural census of 2014. The goal of this census-taking is to provide a comprehensive illustration of the country’s horticultural sector. This survey is the sole source of information regarding production and sales data for U.S. floriculture, nursery and specialty crops,…

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Urban Water Usage

Natural habitats and vegetated ecosystems are vital to maintaining the health and quality of urban water resources. Environmental restoration and conservation practices such as reforestation, stream bank restoration, erosion control and agricultural best practices can go a long way towards improving water quality for millions living in urban areas. The Nature Conservancy in collaboration with…

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Perennial Positives

Nutrient enriched agricultural runoff can be severely detrimental to surface water quality, aquatic life and human health. Localized surface water will eventually reach and discharge into larger water bodies, meaning changes in water quality in a stream will affect the watershed which will eventually affect other watersheds. For instance; nitrates from cultivating soybean and corn…

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Grow in the Dark

Every landscape will have some areas that are less than ideal for gardening, sites may be too wet, too dry, nutrient poor or too shady. Rather than trying to force plants to struggle for success under conditions for which they weren’t meant, perhaps focus on finding the right plant for the conditions. Since every landscape…

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Adelgid Agitation-Tree Pests

The balsam woolly adelgid, Adelges piceae, is a tiny, sucking tree pest first introduced to the United States and Canada, from Europe, in 1900. The assumed method of introduction is afflicted nursery stock. Preferred host trees in Europe appear relatively unaffected by the adelgid’s predation and these insects are not even considered forest pests of…

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