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    Three kinds of algae? Blooming marvellous news!

    Bloom: From food to fuel, the epic story of how algae can save our world by Ruth Kassinger 2019. Elliott & Thompson. As a Botanist, especially one who has taught an undergraduate module on marine biology for over 12 years, I like to think I know a thing or two about algae. However, having just […] More

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    Ecophysiology of early lineage vascular plants

    Tropical understory communities are highly diverse, and plants in these environments must optimize functional traits to ensure ecological and evolutionary success. Campany et al. survey the ecophysiology of two spore bearing vascular plant groups, Selaginella and ferns, in a lowland Costa Rican tropical forest understory. Selaginella in shade has higher chlorophyll levels and lower light […] More

  • African Restionaceae after a fire
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    Heteroblasty adjusts plants to changing environments post fire

    Heteroblastic species show an abrupt change in morphology at a fixed ontogenetic stage, and are relatively frequent in Mediterranean type ecosystems with regular fires. Using the Restionaceae from the southern African Cape flora, Ehmig et al. investigate the potential functional significance of heteroblasty, in particular in post-fire environments. Fires result in enhanced nutrient and moisture […] More

  • Glycine max
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    Intraspecific variation in soy across the leaf economics spectrum

    Leaf economics traits are central in understanding and predicting the effects of plant biodiversity on ecosystem functioning. Using soybean (Glycine max) – one of the world’s most widespread crops, Hayes et al. show that leaf economics traits also differ widely among crops of the same genotype. Differences in soy leaf traits among plants can be […] More

  • Antarctic shore
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    Potential risk of photo-damage in Antarctic photosynthetic organisms

    Light is indispensable for photosynthetic organisms, but excess light energy causes damage in photosystems and readily leads to cell death in severe environments such as Antarctica. Kosugi et al. determine reaction coefficients of photo-inactivation in three Antarctic dominant species, Prasiola crispa (green alga), Umbilicaria decussata (lichen) and Ceratodon purpureus (bryophyte). They relate them to light […] More

  • Experimental setup of Bayat et al.
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    Effects of growth under different light spectra on subsequent high light tolerance in rose plants

    Light is the original source of energy for plant photosynthesis and growth, but it also acts as a signal for morphogenesis and many other physiological processes. Different characteristics of light (spectral composition, intensity, duration and direction) can influence plant growth and development, and although photosynthesis is by definition a light-dependent process; it is negatively influenced […] More

  • Red Oak Foliage
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    Waking up to respiration: leaf respiration in the light alters our interpretation of ecosystem carbon fluxes

    In plants, respiration is usually inhibited in the light compared to the dark. Measuring respiration in the light is particularly difficult, because photosynthesis and photorespiration are occurring as well. Understanding how light respiration changes with temperature is crucial for predicting how ecosystem-level CO2 exchange will respond to climate change, which can feed back and amplify […] More

  • Leaves in dappled light
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    Photosynthesis: a fast-changing process in an even faster world

    Photosynthesis is the process that fuels a plant. It sets the energy budget for the organism. It’s no surprise it’s a well-studied process, tet the most commonly measured photosynthesis parameters are made at ‘steady state’ meaning that new photosynthetic traits could remain undiscovered. The ‘dynamic’ changes in photosynthesis (i.e. the kinetics of the various reactions […] More

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    New form of photosynthesis that’s above par

    PAR is the acronym for Photosynthetically-Active Radiation, and refers to light with wavelengths of 400 – 700 nm, the so-called visible spectrum, from red to violet. PAR is photosynthetically-active because it encompasses the range of wavelengths absorbed by pigments involved in photosynthesis – Chlorophyll a (Chl a) and various accessory pigments, including Chlorophylls b, c, […] More

  • The location of FACE studies included in the assessment.
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    Stomatal conductance and elevated CO2

    Studies have indicated that plant stomatal conductance (gs) decreases in response to elevated atmospheric CO2, a phenomenon of significance for the global hydrological cycle. However, gs increases across certain CO2 ranges have been predicted by optimization models. The aim of this work by Purcell et al. was to demonstrate that under certain environmental conditions, gs […] More

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    Maize nutrient uptake and photosynthesis in intercropping

    Maize and wheat are globally important food crops. The two species can be grown as an intercrop, with substantial land sparing in the order of 20%, as expressed by a land equivalent ratio of approximately 1.2. In a recent study published in AoB PLANTS, Gou et al. measured the nutrient uptake and photosynthesis rate of […] More

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