Jennifer Blake-Mahmud reports that striped maples not only change their sex periodically, but that they can wait until the last minute - three weeks before flowering - to do it. The switch appears to be triggered by physical damage, which can prompt a branch to flower female if it's cut off a male tree.
A groundbreaking new technique for examining moth scales in forest lake sediments allows prehistoric outbreaks of these insects to be identified. The technique -- which could prove as revolutionary as fossil pollen and charcoal markers -- can provide information on the frequency and intensity of past and future insect epidemics, their impact on the forest environment and how they are linked to climate change.
Environmental scientists at Brookhaven National Laboratory have led an international collaboration to improve satellite observations of tropical forests. With the help of professional tree climbers, the scientists collected field data on three factors that affect canopy 'greenness.'
Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. That's good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth's biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet's greenhouse gas levels. The study was published Monday in the journal New Phytologist.
Human hunting of large Amazon rain forest animals -- such as spider monkeys, capuchin monkeys, tapirs and white-lipped peccaries, as well as some bird species such as guans and trumpeters -- is having an impact on the spatial distribution of seeds needed to produce future generations of trees, a new study shows. Ultimately, this could affect the capacity of these forests to serve as 'carbon sinks' that absorb global carbon dioxide emissions.
An international team of researchers, including scientists from the University of York, has discovered a set of enzymes found in fungi that are capable of breaking down one of the main components of wood. The enzymes could now potentially be used to sustainably convert wood biomass into valuable chemical commodities such as biofuels.
It's an age-old debate for coffee lovers. Which is better: Arabica beans with their sweeter, softer taste, or the bold, deep flavor of Robusta beans? A new study by WCS, Princeton University, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison appearing in the journal Scientific Reports has taken the question to unlikely coffee aficionados: birds.
Old, complex tropical forests support a wider diversity of birds than second-growth forests and have irreplaceable value for conservation, according to an Oregon State University-led exhaustive analysis of bird diversity in the mountains of southern Costa Rica.
Nearly 50 years of conservation efforts have been unable to prevent orangutan numbers on Borneo from plummeting. The latest data published by a team from 38 international institutions, led by researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Liverpool John Moores University in Great Britain, suggests that between 1999 and 2015 the total number of Bornean orangutans was reduced by more than 100,000 animals.
What factors shape the formation of a new urban forest? Researchers' survey of tree species diversity in the Salt Lake Valley found that diversity can be shaped by the species available in nurseries, the preferences of the homeowners, and even the tree selections of their neighbors.