Relocating species threatened by climate change is a radical and hotly debated strategy for maintaining biodiversity. In a paper published today in the journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from CSIRO, University of Queensland and United States Geological Survey present a pragmatic decision framework for determining when, if ever, to move species in the face of climate change.
The rate of wheat-yield improvement achievable through conventional plant breeding and genetic engineering alone is not fast enough to compete with a rapidly growing global population, changing climates and decreasing water availability in the battle for accessible and affordable food and fuel.
Business as usual won’t feed the world’s growing population, but planting trees in farm fields could help…
Millions of farmers from around Africa have improved their soils and boosted their livelihoods by culturing nitrogen-fixing species such the indigenous African acacia, Faidherbia albida. Within only a few years of planting these trees and shrubs, farmers were reaping abundant harvests of maize from fields whose exhausted soil had previously produced almost nothing.
While many might think of weeds as pests, British nature writer Richard Mabey prefers to think of them as "vegetable guerrillas" and "forest outlaws." Mabey's new book, Weeds: In Defense of Nature's Most Unloved Plants, is a spirited defense of weeds. He tells NPR's Melissa Block that his love for weeds began when he discovered a forest of the disreputable plants in an industrial wasteland near London's Heathrow Airport.
I struggle at times to understand why we haven’t made much progress in understanding plant functional traits over the past ten years. As has been well chronicled for over a century, plant functional traits are keys to understanding the evolution of plants, predicting ecosystem response to global change, and interpreting the distribution of species. None of the importance of plant functional traits has changed any time recently. I would never argue that there has been no progress… Still, it just doesn’t feel like we’ve learned much in the past ten years about traits.
Common bindweed (Convolvulus arvense) may be the toughest weed in the world. Now the aerial shoots don't look like too much, a slender vine with it's little pinky-white morning glory flowers, but it forms a tuber deep under ground from which it can resprout forever as best my efforts can determine.
Although we write about the impact of climate change on agricultural biodiversity, and the need for biodiversity in plans to adapt agriculture to climate change, this is not a climate change blog.</blockquote>
One of the few times I've seen Google Trends used sensibly (AS).
To ward off famine and potentially save millions of lives, researchers are looking for a little help from a tiny fungus. By colonizing seeds with spores from naturally occurring fungi, experiments show that rice — a major world food source — is able to withstand stresses associated with climate change, such as drought and soil salinity.