Plants

First Evidence That Wildlife Corridors Boost Biodiversity, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: September 1, 2006   View Article

Conservation corridors are a boon for plant diversity, according to a new study that researchers say proves a widely practiced but still controversial theory.

The corridors are narrow strips of land that connect isolated patches of wild habitat, such as nature reserves, often trapped in seas of human developments such as farms and subdivisions.

Buzz Kill: Wild Bees and Flowers Disappearing, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: July 21, 2006   View Article

Parents may soon be telling their kids about the birds and the … birds.

Bees—and the flowers they pollinate—are disappearing, according to a new study of bee diversity. The results raise concerns about food crops and plant communities that rely on animal pollinators to reproduce.

Scientists compared a million records on bees from hundreds of sites in the United Kingdom and the Netherlands before and after 1980.

Alien Species Invading Antarctica, Experts Warn

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

Golf in Antarctica, anyone?

You can’t set a tee time just yet, but a type of grass favored for putting greens—annual bluegrass—has taken root on King George Island, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) from the icy continent.

Scientists are not amused.

“Sooner or later, invasive species do become a big problem,” said Maj de Poorter, an invasive-species researcher at Auckland University in New Zealand.

Earth Hottest It’s Been in 400 Years or More, Report Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: June 23, 2006   View Article

The last two decades of the 20th century were the hottest in 400 years and quite likely the warmest for several millennia, a leading U.S. scientific body concludes in a new report.

The National Academies’ National Research Council report also said “human activities are responsible for much of the recent warming.”

Ants Use Acid to Make “Gardens” in Amazon, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: March 20, 2006   View Article

Ants in the Amazon rain forest labor to keep their territory free of all plants except for one tree species, according to a new study. Scientists call these cultivated spaces devil’s gardens, after the local legends that hold they’re home to evil spirits. Some of the gardens are at least 800 years old.

Termite Power: Can Pests’ Guts Create New Fuel

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

Tiny microbes that live inside termites may one day help cure the world’s energy woes, according to scientists.

The researchers are trying to understand how bacteria that help termites digest wood and other plants release the hydrogen that’s trapped in the material.

Power Lines May Make a New Kind of Buzz – As Home for Bees

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: December 14, 2005   View Article

If Kimberly Russell’s vision pans out, the millions of acres of land that lie under electric power lines across the United States will come to life with the buzz of busy bees.

Russell studies insects and spiders at the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Her research shows that bees take refuge under power lines when utility companies allow the land there to grow shrubs and flowers.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach