Plants

“Encyclopedia of Life” to Catalog All Species of Life on Earth

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 9, 2007   View Article

Scientists announced plans today to put descriptions, pictures, video, and sounds of the world’s estimated 1.8 million named species on the Internet for free.

The effort, called the Encyclopedia of Life, will standardize the presentation of “information about the plants and animals and microorganisms that share this planet with us,” said James Edwards, the project’s executive director.

Koala Groups Face Extinction Due to Changing Forests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 27, 2007   View Article

Australia’s iconic koalas face an uncertain future as their fragmented habitats shift in response to climate change, fire, and drought, an ecologist said.

For example, St. Bees Island off the coast of Queensland is changing from “a koala-friendly forest to a koala-unfriendly forest,” said Alistair Melzer, an ecologist at Central Queensland University.

Warming Sign? Another Early Spring for Rocky Mountains

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: April 9, 2007   View Article

Spring is coming early to the western slope of Colorado’s Rocky Mountains, providing continuing signs of a warming world, according to a conservation biologist.

Forests Have Replaced Tundra Due to Warming, Study Finds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 9, 2007   View Article

High in the Canadian Arctic, large tracts of tundra have given way to forests of spruce trees and bushes in response to a spike of warming temperatures nearly a century ago, according to a new study.

The transition took place more quickly than scientists thought, suggesting that tundra could keep shrinking as temperatures continue to warm.

Unique Mosses Spur Conservation, Ecotourism in Chile

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: November 14, 2006   View Article

A biosphere reserve on the southern tip of South America owes its existence, in part, to the diversity of mosses found there.

The Cape Horn Archipelago, a chain of wind-battered islands in the southernmost reaches of Chile, contains only a few tree species but a bounty of rare and unique mosses, according to William Buck, the curator of bryophytes at the New York Botanical Garden.

Over 200 Years of Hurricane Data Recorded in Trees, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 18, 2006   View Article

A chemical signature of just about every hurricane to roar across southern Georgia during the past 220 years is preserved in the region’s longleaf pine trees, according to a new study.

Further detective work should extend the record for the southeastern United States back another 400 years, says Claudia Mora, study co-author and a geochemist at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

Genetic Family Tree of All Life Is Bearing Fruit

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 6, 2006   View Article

New cures, supercrops, and secrets of evolution may emerge from the fast-growing branches of the “Tree of Life,” scientists say.

The increasing availability of genetic information—and the computer technology to analyze it—is allowing researchers to begin drawing a detailed picture of how life on Earth originated, adapted, and diversified.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach