One out of three rivers in the Iberian Peninsula has salinization mainly due the impact of agricultural activity and territory urbanization. This environmental problem will affect hydric ecosystems due global warming, the growing use of water and the exploitation of soil natural resources.
Climate-smart agriculture boosts yields, mitigates extreme weather impact and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. A study by the International Center for Tropical Agriculture in Central America, Africa and Asia points to profitable opportunities for farmers and the environment.
Approximately 88 percent of wheat production is susceptible to yellow rust. Researchers have new results regarding the fungus, which evolves quickly to produce new, virulent strains.
Farmers in developing countries often rely heavily on their yearly harvest to feed their families. A bad crop can have severe consequences for their livelihood. Despite the significant advantages crop insurances would offer in alleviating this risk, only a small percentage of farmers insure their crops. A simple but effective solution tested by researchers from the University of Zurich has increased insurance adoption to over 70 percent.
While it's an important part of our diets, new research shows that rice plants can be used in a different way, too: to clean runoff from farms before it gets into rivers, lakes, and streams.
In a step toward producing renewable engine fuels that are compatible with existing diesel fuel infrastructure, researchers report they can convert wet biowaste, such as swine manure and food scraps, into a fuel that can be blended with diesel and that shares diesel's combustion efficiency and emissions profile.
Researchers from CIRAD and INRA recently showed that inactivating a gene, RECQ4, leads to a three-fold increase in recombination in crops such as rice, pea and tomato. The gene inhibits the exchange of genetic material via recombination (crossover) during the sexual reproduction process in crops. This discovery, published in the journal Nature Plants on Nov. 16, 2018, could speed up plant breeding and development of varieties better suited to specific environmental conditions (disease resistance, adaptation to climate change).
Phloem diseases, including the economically devastating citrus greening, are particularly difficult to study because phloem cells -- essential for plant nutrient transport -- are difficult to access and isolate. Researchers at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Education Center have developed a technique to identify phloem cells using fluorescent microscopy and organelle-specific dyes that is applicable in a variety of phloem diseases across a range of species.
Fires that contribute to deforestation spiked six-fold in Colombia in the year after an historic 2016 peace agreement ended decades of conflict between FARC guerrilla and government forces, according to a study in Nature Ecology & Evolution. "This dramatic increase from trends in the last decade will boost the likelihood of deforestation in protected areas in the upcoming year," said study co-author Laura C. Schneider, an associate professor in the Department of Geography at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
Global warming increases frost damage on trees in large areas of Central Europe, according to a new Finnish-Chinese study. Late frost damages are economically important in agriculture and forestry. In certain years, they are known to have caused losses amounting to up to hundreds of millions of euros.