Aquatic Arsenal

Researchers at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at the University of Western Sidney have recently discovered that trees do more than just move water up and down, water can be moved laterally and even be stored within tree tissues. While traditionally we assumed that trees maintained two distinct systems, xylem and phloem, for the…

National Agriculture Day

Agriculture plays an essential role in every person’s life each day, yet many of us do not know or appreciate how our food is produced. As part of a nationwide effort to educate people about the immense effort which goes into growing food and the importance of agriculture in our daily lives, The American Council…

International Day of Forests!

March 21, 2015 has officially been declared the International Day of Forests, by the United Nations General Assembly. As the most biologically diverse, terrestrial ecosystems forests provide habitat and food for wildlife, act as a sink for carbon, help improve and protect water quality and provide jobs and shelter for communities around the world. Forests…

Deforestation Danger

While the previously known dangers of deforestation are already severe and somewhat grim; less carbon absorption, loss of habitat, biodiversity decreases etc. a new study indicates that it could also be exposing more people to deadly, infectious diseases like the Bubonic plague. While societies of the western world have largely forgotten about the “Black Death”,…

“Soils Support Agriculture”

2015 has been named the “International Year of Soil” (IYS) and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA) has developed activities to support educational outreach, assigning a theme for each month of the year. March’s theme is “Soils Support Agriculture”. Soil is the source of the nutrients that human bodies require; we acquire these nutrients…

Intolerable Invasion

Invasive species find their way into the country via unchecked boxes, pallets, luggage and hitchhiking on animals. Once here they can multiply and spread unchecked due to the lack of natural predators and because it may take some time before we realize there is a problem, containment and elimination becomes near impossible. Unfortunately, often the…

Seed Storage

A new mandate to conserve the genetic diversity of their forests spurred the Natural Resources Institute of Finland to launch a new seed banking venture. The Svalbard Global Seed Vault opened on February 26, 2015, located on Spitsbergen Island, it is heavily guarded by permafrost. Prior to opening the seed bank the primary method for…

Precision Production

Precision agriculture is a modern farming practice employed to make production more efficient. Precision agriculture, also referred to as “site-specific agriculture”, allows farmers to work smarter rather than harder by tailoring management and cultivation practices according the actual needs of the site. Farmers and site managers can take vast expanses of fields and treat them…

Symbiosis Stipulation

Recent research has uncovered the critical mechanism involved in the symbiotic relationship between fungi and trees. As it turns out, the fungus is able to take control of its tree host by injecting a small protein that neutralizes the tree’s immune defenses thereby allowing the fungus to colonize the plant. This is a critical advance in our understanding…