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Latest Soil biology Stories

2012-03-22 22:54:49

A new paper by researchers from the University of Georgia and Princeton University sheds light on the critical part played by a little-studied element, molybdenum, in the nutrient cycles of tropical forests. Understanding the role of molybdenum may help scientists more accurately predict how tropical forests will respond to climate change. The findings were published March 21 in the journal PLoS ONE. Nutrient cycles track the movement of essential nutrients as they loop through the...

2012-03-13 22:58:52

Biologists at Bielefeld University have developed a new method for quantifying the effect of non-native species on ecosystem functioning They can estimate whether native plants in the neighbourhood of invasive species incorporate the nitrogen fixed by the latter. The biologists examined the Sydney Golden Wattle (Acacia longifolia), an Australian shrub that has established itself in Mediterranean climates worldwide. They found that the invasive species threatens native ecosystems not only...

2012-03-09 00:04:50

Most plants live in symbiosis with soil fungi and are supplied with water and nutrients as a result. Based on the petunia, plant biologists at the University of Zurich have now discovered that a special transport protein is required to establish this symbiotic relationship. The targeted control of this protein could lead to greater harvests. About 80 percent of all terrestrial plants enter into a symbiotic relationship with fungi living in the soil. The fungi provide the plant with water,...

2011-12-19 16:16:05

A 125-year debate on how nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to breach the cell walls of legumes has been settled A 125-year debate on how nitrogen-fixing bacteria are able to breach the cell walls of legumes has been settled. A paper to be published on Monday by John Innes Centre scientists reports that plants themselves allow bacteria in. Once inside the right cells, these bacteria take nitrogen from the air and supply it to legumes in a form they can use, ammonia. Whether the bacteria...

Image 1 - Nitrogen From Humans Pollutes Remote Lakes
2011-12-16 09:06:55

Nitrogen derived from human activities has polluted lakes throughout the Northern Hemisphere for more than a century and the fingerprint of these changes is evident even in remote lakes located thousands of miles from the nearest city, industrial area or farm. The findings, published in the journal Science Dec. 16, are based on historical changes in the chemical composition of bottom deposits in 36 lakes using an approach similar to aquatic archeology. More than three quarters of the...

2011-12-15 17:40:13

Humans are having an effect on Earth's ecosystems but it's not just the depletion of resources and the warming of the planet we are causing. Now you can add an over-abundance of nitrogen as another "footprint" humans are leaving behind. The only question is how large of an impact will be felt. In a Perspectives piece in the current issue of Science (Dec. 16, 2011), Arizona State University researcher James Elser outlines some recent findings on the increasing abundance of available...

2011-11-28 23:09:15

Fungi and bacteria help one another stay mobile, say TAU researchers Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement – and their survival. Fungal spores can attach themselves to bacteria, "hitching a ride" wherever the bacteria travel. And while this allows them to travel further than they would on their own, says Prof. Eshel Ben-Jacob of...

2011-11-14 23:07:46

Laser capture microdissection provides an insight into the symbiotic program of root cells Not only mineral oil and petroleum gas, also phosphorous is a scarce resource. According to well-respected scientists who gathered together for a conference in Cambridge this August, we will face significant problems relating to phosphorous deficiency in just 20 years from now. Phosphorous, this important and essential mineral, is part of our DNA and, therefore, irreplaceable. Many soils are already...

Image 1 - Air Pollution Fertilizes Tropical Forests
2011-11-04 03:15:28

Scientists braved ticks and a tiger to discover how human activities have perturbed the nitrogen cycle in tropical forests. Studies at two remote Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory sites in Panama and Thailand show the first evidence of long-term effects of nitrogen pollution in tropical trees. "Air pollution is fertilizing tropical forests with one of the most important nutrients for growth," said S. Joseph Wright, staff scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research...

2011-09-11 07:00:00

A "symbiotic" partnership with goals to increase crop yields through products that better deliver water and nutrients to farmersâ fields via beneficial mycorrhizal fungi. St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) September 11, 2011 Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and BRDG Park President Sam Fiorello announced SyMyco, Inc., a freshly created joint venture with the intent to combine the technical and market experience of Mycorrhizal Applications, Inc. of Grants Pass, Oregon and production expertise of...