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Latest Soil biology Stories

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...

Invasion Of The Earthworms
2011-09-12 09:22:21

  Non-native earthworms are damaging hardwood forests [ View the Science Nation Video ] Think of earthworms and a few things come to mind: they make great bait for fishing, they aerate the soil, and they're an excellent addition to a compost pile. But what a lot of people don't know is many earthworms are actually invasive species. "The western Great Lakes region, which is the area we're focused on, has no native earthworms," says ecologist Cindy Hale, a research associate...

2011-09-01 15:30:39

Study shows humans to blame for spread of non-native species It is widely acknowledged that human beings are largely responsible for the widespread alteration of ecosystems on the planet. A recent study by Dara Seidl and Peter Klepeis of Colgate University in New York traces the ways in which humans are the principal agents of dispersal of exotic earthworms in the forests of Northern America. Their findings, published online in Springer's journal Human Ecology, suggest that humans spread...

Image 1 - Bedrock Nitrogen May Help Forests Buffer Climate Change
2011-09-01 10:28:43

  For the first time, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have demonstrated that forest trees have the ability to tap into nitrogen found in rocks, boosting the trees' growth and their ability to pull more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Given that carbon dioxide is the most important climate-change gas, the nitrogen in rocks could significantly affect how rapidly the earth will warm in the future, the researchers say. They report their findings in the Sept. 1...


Word of the Day
grass-comber
  • A landsman who is making his first voyage at sea; a novice who enters naval service from rural life.
According to the OED, a grass-comber is also 'a sailor's term for one who has been a farm-labourer.'