Endangered Plants

Endangered Plants News -- ScienceDaily Endangered plant research. Read about interesting mechanisms for plant survival and what is being done to save threatened and endangered plants.

  • New insights into plants' conquest of land
    on July 19, 2018 at 6:20 pm

    The ancestors of land plants were string-like (2D), aquatic green algae that looked very different from the three-dimensional (3D), upright stems and leaves of plants we are familiar with today. Now, researchers have revealed exciting insights into how land plants evolved these 3D forms that were crucial for their advancement onto land. […]

  • Colombia peace deal brings new threat to country's rainforest
    on July 19, 2018 at 12:54 pm

    The historic peace treaty in Colombia which brought an end to half a century of violence has led to mass deforestation. Once FARC soldiers were disarmed, it led to a vacuum of power which is being exploited by large landowners who are now deforesting the area at an alarming rate to make way for farms and for the illegal growth of coca crops. An ecologically significant region of Colombia, is now at risk of disappearing. […]

  • Cities as study proxies for climate change
    on July 18, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Cities can serve as useful proxies to study and predict the effects of climate change, according to a research review that tracks urbanization's effects on plant and insect species. […]

  • Feeding plants to this algae could fuel your car
    on July 18, 2018 at 2:48 pm

    The research shows that a freshwater production strain of microalgae, Auxenochlorella protothecoides, is capable of directly degrading and utilizing non-food plant substrates, such as switchgrass, for improved cell growth and lipid productivity, useful for boosting the algae's potential value as a biofuel. […]

  • 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free palmyra atoll
    on July 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    New research demonstrates dramatic positive benefits for native trees following rat removal at Palmyra Atoll, a magnificent National Wildlife Refuge and natural research laboratory located about 1000 miles south of Hawaii. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed. […]

  • Sap-sucking bugs manipulate their host plants' metabolism for their own benefit
    on July 17, 2018 at 6:25 pm

    Researchers have shown for the first time that free-living, sap-sucking bugs can manipulate the metabolism of their host plants to create stable, nutritious feeding sites. […]

  • Plant mothers 'talk' to their embryos via the hormone auxin
    on July 16, 2018 at 7:15 pm

    In plants, it has been clear for a while that maternal signals regulate embryo development. However, the signal itself was unknown -- until now. Plant scientists have now found that a plant hormone called auxin from the mother is one of the signals that pattern the plant embryo. […]

  • Bacteria engineered to create fertilizer out of thin air
    on July 16, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    Researchers have created a bacteria that uses photosynthesis to create oxygen during the day, and at night, uses nitrogen to create chlorophyll for photosynthesis. This development could lead to plants that do the same, eliminating the use of some -- or possibly all -- human-made fertilizer, which has a high environmental cost. […]

  • Particulate matter increases drought vulnerability of trees
    on July 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

    Particulate matter deposits on leaves increase plant transpiration and the risk of plants suffering from drought. Particulate matter could thus be contributing more strongly to tree mortality and forest decline than previously assumed. This is suggested by results from a greenhouse study, in which tree seedlings grown in almost particulate matter free air or in unfiltered air were compared. […]

  • Natural product that could lead to new class of commercial herbicide
    on July 14, 2018 at 2:01 am

    A team of engineers and scientists discovered a new and potentially highly effective type of weed killer. This finding could lead to the first new class of commercial herbicides in more than 30 years, an important outcome as weeds continue to develop resistance to current herbicide regimens. […]

  • Growing a dinosaur's dinner
    on July 13, 2018 at 3:19 pm

    Scientists have measured the nutritional value of herbivore dinosaurs' diet by growing their food in atmospheric conditions similar to those found roughly 150 million years ago. […]

  • Rice plants evolve to adapt to flooding
    on July 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

    Although water is essential for plant growth, excessive amounts can waterlog and kill a plant. In South and Southeast Asia, where periodic flooding occurs during the rainy season, the water depth can reach several meters for many months. […]

  • Climate change-induced march of treelines halted by unsuitable soils
    on July 12, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    Researchers have discovered unsuitable soil at higher altitudes may be halting the advancement of treelines. This finding dispels the commonly held assumption that climate change is enabling trees to move farther uphill and northward. The researchers looked at plant growth at higher altitudes in the Canadian Rockies, grew spruce and fir seedlings at varying elevations and collected soil samples from the same areas to grow spruce seeds in growth chambers . […]

  • Algae have land genes
    on July 12, 2018 at 4:39 pm

    The genome of the algae species Chara braunii has been decoded. It already contains the first genetic characteristics that enabled the water plants' evolutionary transition to land. […]

  • Invasive plants adapt to new environments
    on July 12, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Invasive plants have the ability to adapt to new environments -- and even behave like a native species, according to new research. […]

  • Reining in soil's nitrogen chemistry
    on July 11, 2018 at 4:24 pm

    The compound urea is currently the most popular nitrogen soil fertilizer. It's a way to get plants the nitrogen they need to grow. There's just one problem with urease: it works too well! New research suggests farmers may have a choice in how they slow the release of nitrogen, depending on their soil's acidity. […]

  • Fern's sequenced genome holds environmental promise
    on July 11, 2018 at 4:23 pm

    A tiny fern -- with each leaf the size of a gnat -- may provide global impact for sinking atmospheric carbon dioxide, fixing nitrogen in agriculture and shooing pesky insects from crops. The fern's full genome has now been sequenced. […]

  • If you build it, the birds will come -- if it meets their criteria
    on July 11, 2018 at 1:31 pm

    A new study presents a case study on how bird surveys can better inform conservation and vegetation restoration efforts. Previous conservation methods have emphasized plants as the key to recreating habitat preferred by a sensitive animal. However, this study shows that there's more to the coastal sagebrush habitat of California gnatcatchers than just having the right plants present. […]

  • Expansion of agricultural land reduces carbon dioxide absorption
    on July 5, 2018 at 3:56 pm

    Plants absorb some of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels. But increasing deforestation and other changes in land use will reduce the carbon dioxide absorption capacity of these areas in the future, researchers have found. […]

  • Summer fun: How plants beat the heat
    on July 5, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    Researchers have discovered a gene in plants that helps protect them from excessive heat. The study shows that the newly found gene prevents the destabilization of chloroplast membranes that occurs at very high temperatures. […]

  • New receptor involved in symbiosis between legumes and nitrogen-fixing rhizobia identified
    on July 5, 2018 at 2:04 pm

    Legumes are able to grow in nitrogen-poor soils due to their ability to engage in symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria. There is a great interest in using the knowledge about this symbiosis, to enable transfer to other non-symbiotic plants. An international research team has come a step further to understanding this complex biological process. […]

  • Shedding light on the energy-efficiency of photosynthesis
    on July 3, 2018 at 3:00 pm

    A new study suggests that photorespiration wastes little energy and instead enhances nitrate assimilation, the process that converts nitrate absorbed from the soil into protein. […]

  • Host plants tell insects when to grow longer wings and migrate
    on July 2, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    Scientists have discovered that the quality of the host rice plant determines whether the brown planthopper, a major pest on rice in Asia, grows short wings or long wings. […]

  • A pretty plant of summer produces a promising anti-diabetes compound
    on July 2, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    Montbretin A (MbA), a natural compound with great potential for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, was discovered in the ornamental plant montbretia ten years ago, but it can't be produced on a large scale until its biosynthesis is understood. Scientists have now discovered genes and enzymes responsible for MbA biosynthesis and demonstrated the potential for metabolic engineering of wild tobacco to produce this promising drug candidate. […]

  • Crop-counting robot
    on July 2, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Today's crop breeders are trying to boost yields while also preparing crops to withstand severe weather and changing climates. To succeed, they must locate genes for high-yielding, hardy traits in crop plants' DNA. A robot can now find these proverbial needles in the haystack. […]

  • Small bee 'pollen thieves' are not effective bumblebee substitutes
    on June 29, 2018 at 2:25 pm

    As bumblebees decline, what other busy bees could step in? A new study shows that other bees might do more harm than good. […]

  • Climate change linked to potential population decline in bees
    on June 28, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    A new study has found that climate change may drive local extinction of mason bees in Arizona and other naturally warm climates. […]

  • Rewiring plant defense genes to reduce crop waste
    on June 20, 2018 at 8:24 pm

    Plants could be genetically rewired to better resist disease, helping safeguard crop yields worldwide according to new research. Defensive feedback control system developed enables plants to strengthen their defenses to withstand attack by re-wiring existing gene connections. The system uses same approach as aircraft autopilots use to counteract turbulence. […]

  • Whether wheat weathers heat waves
    on June 20, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    Unlike humans, crops in a field can't move to air conditioning to endure a heat wave. Scientists in Australia are working to understand how heat waves impact wheat. […]

  • Blue gene regulation helps plants respond properly to light
    on June 19, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Researchers have discovered a process through which gene expression in plants is regulated by light. The study found that blue light triggers a shift in which portion of a gene is ultimately expressed. […]