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521514de9758aabdb77b139104c862411
2010-06-16 14:26:24

The world is a cooler, wetter place because of flowering plants, according to new climate simulation results published in the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The effect is especially pronounced in the Amazon basin, where replacing flowering plants with non"“flowering varieties would result in an 80 percent decrease in the area covered by ever"“wet rainforest. The simulations demonstrate the importance of flowering"“plant physiology to climate regulation in...

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2010-03-23 09:30:05

New research confirms that early angiosperms were weedy, fast-growing Fossils and their surrounding matrix can provide insights into what our world looked like millions of years ago. Fossils of angiosperms, or flowering plants (which are the most common plants today), first appear in the fossil record about 140 million years ago. Based on the material in which these fossils are deposited, it is thought that early angiosperms must have been weedy, fast-growing shrubs and herbs found in highly...

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2010-03-15 15:40:20

Findings fuel ongoing debates over different approaches to dating the tree of life Flowering plants may be considerably older than previously thought, says a new analysis of the plant family tree. Previous studies suggest that flowering plants, or angiosperms, first arose 140 to 190 million years ago. Now, a paper to be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences pushes back the age of angiosperms to 215 million years ago, some 25 to 75 million years earlier than either...

2010-02-24 08:50:10

The origins of flowering plants from peas to oak trees are now in clearer focus thanks to the efforts of University of Florida researchers. A study appearing online this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences unravels 100 million years of evolution through an extensive analysis of plant genomes. It targets one of the major moments in plant evolution, when the ancestors of most of the world's flowering plants split into two major groups. Together the two groups make up...

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2010-02-04 14:36:12

Molecular biology of drought tolerance comes into focus Recent work at Washington University in St. Louis sheds light on one of the most important events in earth-history, the conquest of land by plants 480 million years ago. No would-be colonizer could have survived on dry land without the ability to deal with dehydration, a major threat for organisms accustomed to soaking in water. Clues to how the first land plants managed to avoid drying out might be provided by bryophytes, a group that...

2009-12-01 13:15:42

Superior 'leaf plumbing' gave flowering plants evolutionary advantage To Charles Darwin it was an 'abominable mystery' and it is a question which has continued to vex evolutionists to this day: when did flowering plants evolve and how did they come to dominate plant life on earth? Today a study in Ecology Letters reveals the evolutionary trigger which led to early flowering plants gaining a major competitive advantage over rival species, leading to their subsequent boom and abundance. The...

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2009-09-23 13:44:44

If past is prelude, trees and shrubs may have a harder time keeping pace with global warming Can we predict which species will be most vulnerable to climate change by studying how they responded in the past? A new study of flowering plants provides a clue. An analysis of more than 5000 plant species reveals that woody plants "” such as trees and shrubs "” adapted to past climate change much more slowly than herbaceous plants did. If the past is any indicator of the future, woody...

2009-09-15 16:34:40

U.S. scientists say they've discovered why some plants are carnivorous, relying on animal prey such as flies or other insects for sustenance. Harvard University researchers Jim Karagatzides and Aaron Ellison discovered such plants generally appear in environments that have few nutrients. Carnivory allows these plants to capture nutrients 'on the wing', said Ellison. But if it's so good to be a carnivorous plant in these kinds of environments, why aren't there more carnivorous plants? Knowing...

2009-09-15 08:33:02

Findings advance understanding of how complete food webs function Like the man-eating plant in Little Shop of Horrors, carnivorous plants rely on animal prey for sustenance. Fortunately for humans, carnivorous plants found in nature are not dependent on a diet of human blood but rather are satisfied with the occasional fly or other insect. The existence of carnivorous plants has fascinated botanists and non-botanists alike for centuries and raises the question, "Why are some plants...

447b2603fd50b00d625a45aa07e9f9c21
2009-08-21 09:55:00

New algorithm explores future changes in plant populationsThe ability to envisage the future may be closer than you would think. A recent paper by Sean Hammond and Karl Niklas in the August 2009 issue of the American Journal of Botany (available here) presents an algorithm that may be used to predict the future dynamics of plant communities, an increasingly interesting area of study as significant environmental changes, such as global climate change and invasive species, are affecting current...


Latest Plants Reference Libraries

Flower garden
2013-08-21 08:27:49

Flower gardens, used for beautification purposes, contain various flowering plants providing blooms all year long and can be elaborate or simple. Flower gardens come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Formal flower gardens are planned out and serve as a multi-function garden, such as growing herbs around the border of a flower garden with edible blooms. Shrubs are also used in creating flower gardens suitable for plants requiring shade. A haphazard flower garden is one that is allowed to...

Perennial Plant
2013-04-27 08:01:21

Perennial plants live for two years or more. Perennials differ from annuals and biennials with annuals replanted every year and biennials every other year. Perennial’s that bloom during spring and summer will die back in autumn, rest during the winter, then re-grow the following spring from the existing root-stock; these are also known as deciduous perennials. If the climate is continually warm, a perennial will continually grow and produce flowers and or fruit. A perennial relocated from...

Biennial Plant
2013-04-27 07:50:37

Biennial plants have a two year life cycle; roots, stems and leaves in the first year with flowers following the next year after a cold winter dormant period. Biennials will produce seed and fruit before dying. There are not as many biennial plants as there are perennials or annuals. Biennial plants, when exposed to extreme climate conditions, may have a shortened life cycle of a few months especially if the plants were exposed to colder than normal temperatures. Most biennials can be...

Annual Plant
2013-04-27 07:44:51

Annuals are plants that flower and/or set fruit in one growing season. Most vegetables are annuals as well as domesticated grains. Vegetables such as carrot and celery are biennials grown as an annual whereas tomato and bell pepper are perennials and grown as an annual. Annuals grow well mixed in with perennials and biennials. There are also ornamental flowers that are perennials in one region and an annual in another. An annual can produce seeds that continue the life cycle in as little...

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Word of the Day
Cthulhu
  • A gigantic fictional humanoid alien god being described with a head resembling an octopus and dragon wings and claws, around whom an insane cult developed.
  • Pertaining to the mythos of Cthulhu and additional otherworldly beings created by H. P. Lovecraft or inspired by his writings and imitators.
This word was invented in 1926 by H.P. Lovecraft for his short story, 'The Call of Cthulhu.' 'Cthulhu' may be based on the word 'chthonic,' which in Greek mythology refers to the underworld.
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