Beneficial Beetles

One of the most common and yet widely unknown beneficial insects on our landscapes is the common black ground beetle (CBGB), Pterostichus spp.. The dullish appear and nocturnal and reclusive behavior is partly to blame for their obscurity, in spite of all of the great benefits of their inclusion in our landscapes. These incredibly valuable players in our…

Details

Invasive Interruptions

Mycorrhizal fungi are the beneficial fungi which can form symbiotic relationships with the plant roots of nearly all evergreen species and approximately 60% of deciduous plants.  This symbiotic relationship provides plant roots with additional surface area with which to absorb water and nutrients and allows the fungus to feed on sugars and starches produced by…

Details

Fractured Forests

Forest fragmentation, or habitat fragmentation, is the breakdown of habitat from a large, contiguous swath into smaller, distinct, discontinuous pieces. When habitat is broken apart three interrelated processes occur 1) reduction of the total amount of vegetation, in other words, habitat loss, 2) division of remaining vegetation into remnants or patches and 3) new land-use…

Details

Fire Factors

Plants are at a distinct disadvantage when it comes to escaping fire, they cannot get up and run. So, many plants have adapted specific traits for fire survival, using it to their advantage as an aid in reproduction or regeneration. These adaptations have made wildfires essential to some ecosystems. Fire ecology is an arm of…

Details

Biomass Basics

Biomass energy or “bioenergy” is energy from plants and plant-derived materials. Wood and wood products are the largest source of biomass fuel with many companies supplying bulk hardwood pellets for those who use them. However, other sources are being tested and used including; crops, grasses, woody plants, algae, residual waste from agricultural forestry and the…

Details

Seed Saver

Now that fall is here, the harvest is happening, may be already complete in some regions or has already been wrapped up in others, most of us home gardeners in the north won’t think about planting again until the soil defrosts in the spring. But if your garden really thrived this year, you found some…

Details

Laurel Wilt Worries

Laurel wilt is a disease affecting redbay (Persea borbonia) which is a facultative wetland shrub or small tree throughout much of its range. This disease is caused by the introduction of a non-native fungus (Raffaelea lauricola) via the invasive ambrosia beetle (Xyleborus glabratus). Laurel wilt compromises the ability of the plant to uptake and transport water, causing leaves…

Details