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Latest Soil biology Stories

2013-10-11 12:46:14

In the land of 10,000 lakes, one lake has been the starting place for research with implications for big lakes around the world. According to a study published online this week in Science, University of Minnesota researchers, building from studies of nitrogen levels in Lake Superior, uncovered a good news/bad news scenario for lake health that has long-term, global implications for pollution control efforts. While many water-quality cleanup efforts focusing on the reduction of phosphorus...

Earthworms Can Survive And Recover After Stress From 3-week Drought
2013-09-19 13:20:17

American Society of Agronomy Earthworms are a welcomed sight in many gardens and yards since they can improve soil structure and mixing. But they are hard to find in the drier soils of eastern Colorado where water and organic matter is limited. Adding earthworms to fields where they are not currently found could help enhance the health and productivity of the soil. In areas where droughts are common, though, can earthworms survive? A new study suggests that they can. Earthworms use...

Barro Colorado Island, Panama
2013-09-16 04:29:49

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online Tropical forests that are timber harvested or cleared for agriculture can help reduce their own recovery time by capturing natural nitrogen fertilizer and carbon dioxide more quickly when making a comeback, according to research appearing in the journal Nature. In addition, researchers working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama found that an unusual symbiotic relationship between a specific group of...

Wobble Of The Earth Rings The Ocean Dinner Bell For Tiny Ocean Creatures
2013-09-14 04:18:52

redOrbit Staff & Wire Reports - Your Universe Online The nutrient known as “fixed” nitrogen, which is essential to the health of the ocean, is controlled by the cyclic wobble of the Earth on its axis, researchers from Princeton University and the Swiss Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETH) claim in research appearing in the journal Nature. According to the study authors, the discovery will give scientists new insight into how the ocean regulates its own life-support system,...

2013-08-08 14:02:31

1 species of bacteria rides the other down through sediment like an elevator, then closes the loop on the ocean's nitrogen cycle In a discovery that further demonstrates just how unexpected and unusual nature can be, scientists have found two strains of bacteria whose symbiotic relationship is unlike anything seen before. Long, thin, hairlike Thioploca (meaning "sulfur braids" in Spanish) trichomes form chains down into marine sediment, which tiny anammox cells ride down like an...

2013-08-08 09:18:00

Forests have a limited capacity to soak up atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study from Northern Arizona University. The study, available online in the journal New Phytologist, aimed to explore how rising atmospheric carbon dioxide could alter the carbon and nitrogen content of ecosystems. By performing tests on subtropical woodland plots over an 11-year period, the researchers found that ecosystem carbon uptake was not significantly increased by the high CO2...

Nitrogen Fixation System Could Eliminate The Need For Chemical Fertilizers
2013-07-26 05:01:36

Brett Smith for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online Plant scientists from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom have announced a revolutionary new system that allows plants to take nitrogen from the atmosphere and potentially eliminate the need for chemical fertilizers that can pollute the ecosystem where they are used. Plants must fix nitrogen and convert it to ammonia in order to survive and grow - however, only a few plants, such as peas and lentils, have the ability to...

2013-07-24 10:23:57

A simple, low-cost and eco-friendly method of creating nitrogen-doped graphene nanoplatelets (NGnPs), which could be used in dye-sensitized solar cells and fuel cells, is published in Scientific Reports today. The work, carried out at Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST) in South Korea, could be a step towards replacing conventional platinum (Pt)-based catalysts for energy conversion. The search for economically viable alternatives to fossil fuels has attracted...

Earthworm Poop Could Help Improve Climate Change Models
2013-07-09 04:49:08

Susan Bowen for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A recent discovery about earthworm excrement could help scientists improve our models of future climate change. Most earthworms excrete balls of calcium carbonate crystals, a chalk-like material. What makes these crystals interesting is that they retain a memory of the temperature at which they were created. Scientists at the Universities of Reading and York conducted an experiment in which earthworms were kept at differing...

Ocean Food Chain Likely Disrupted By Climate Change
2013-07-03 08:08:44

April Flowers for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online A new study from the University of Southern California (USC) reveals climate change may be weeding out the bacteria that form the base of the ocean's food chain by selecting certain strains for survival. There are winners and losers in everything, including climate change. Knowing which organisms will thrive and which will perish as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and temperatures rise globally is increasingly important to...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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