February 2016

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  • Arabidopsis

    Seed dormancy cycling and mortality in Arabidopsis thaliana

    The contribution of variation in seed bank dynamics to local adaptation is not well studied. Postma et al. investigated the extent to which genetic and environmental factors affect dormancy cycling and mortality of Arabidopsis thaliana seeds in the soil by conducting a reciprocal seed burial experiment with two locally adapted populations from Italy and Sweden. […] More

  • in

    Article-level metrics are now live at AoB PLANTS

    AoB PLANTS is pleased to announce that our website now provides valuable information about how each article published in our journal is being used by the scientific community. Article-level metrics reveal how many times a particular article has been downloaded and (via Altmetric) how much attention the article has received online via social media, blogs, […] More

  • sea

    Seagrasses cheat on sex!

    Survival at geographic range edges, where organisms are often at the limits of their physiological tolerances, can trigger unusual responses in reproduction. Sinclair et al. describe the first observations of pseudoviviparous shoots in the marine angiosperm, Posidonia australis. Unfertilized flowers cheated and ‘switched’ to plantlet development. Multilocus genotypes showed these plantlets were genetically identical to […] More

  • in

    Selenium accumulation by plants

    Selenium is not required by plants, but is an essential mineral element for animal nutrition. In excess, it can be harmful to both plants and animals. Selenium concentrations in vegetation can vary widely, depending upon both selenium phytoavailability in the soil and plant genotype. White presents a comprehensive, contemporary review of selenium accumulation by plants. […] More

  • Diatoms

    Good things come in small packages

    And few eukaryotic things are smaller than diatoms, unicellular algae that are common, numerous and taxonomically extremely diverse, particularly in the oceans. Small? Yes, typically 20 – 200 µm in diameter. Good? Yes; their annual explosion in numbers during the first quarter of the year – the so-called spring phytoplankton bloom – essentially kick-starts productivity […] More

  • Ripped leaf

    Relationships between two methods to assess leaf mechanical resistance (Technical Article)

    The influence of leaf mechanical properties on local ecosystem processes has resulted in a growing interest in including leaf mechanical resistance in large-scale databases of plant functional traits. Enrico et al. explore the relationships between two techniques widely used to measure ‘force to tear’ and ‘specific work to shear’, two properties that reflect leaf mechanical […] More

  • Seed source sites of Protea repens

    Aridity-related stomatal differences in a South African shrub

    Plants in arid environments often have predictably different phenotypes than those in moist environments. Within species, such trait–environment associations could indicate local adaptation, yet supporting evidence is rare. A new study looks at Protea repens a shrub found in the Cape Floristic Region. Carlson et al. show both broad-scale stomatal variation and its evolutionary mechanism […] More

  • in

    Constraints on coastal dune invasion for a notorious plant invader

    Although most biological invasions are not successful, relatively few studies have examined otherwise notorious invaders in systems where they are not highly problematic. The annual grass Bromus tectorum is a dominant invader in western North America, but is usually confined to human-dominated and disturbed systems (e.g. roadsides and parking lots) in the East where it […] More

  • in

    Tracing the roots – stems, leaves, fruits… – of modern botany

    Ancient Botany. Gavin Hardy and Laurence Totelin. Routledge, 2016. What do you get if you combine the academic interests of a marine phycologist with those of a member of the British Society for the History of Pharmacy? The latest addition to Routledge/Taylor & Francis’ Sciences of Antiquity book series Ancient Botany, by Gavin Hardy and […] More

  • Pisum sativum

    Elevated CO2 reduces nitrate inhibition of N2 fixation in Pisum

    Additional carbohydrate supply resulting from enhanced photosynthesis under predicted future elevated CO2 is likely to increase symbiotic nitrogen fixation in legumes. Butterly et al. use free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) to study field pea, Pisum sativum, growing under different levels of CO2 and N supply in a semi-arid cropping system and find that increasing N reduces […] More

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