The harlequin ladybird, officially known as Harmonia axyridis, was widely introduced across continental Europe to limit the population of pest insects.
Hatching eggs in large-scale hatcheries are currently treated with formaldehyde to eliminate germs. Austrian researchers from TU Graz, acib and Roombiotic have now developed a natural alternative.
Estimates of the carbon stored by tropical forests rarely take tree roots into consideration. Smithsonian scientists report that almost 30 percent of the total biomass of tropical trees may be in the roots.
TU Graz researchers observe enzymes breaking down cellulose to aid the production of biofuels. The results are now published in Nature Communications.
Some plants behave like the mythical monster Hydra: Cut off their heads and they grow back, bigger and better than before. A new study finds that these 'overcompensators,' as they are called, also augment their defensive chemistry -- think plant venom -- when they are clipped. The discovery could lead to the development of new methods for boosting plant growth while reducing the need for insecticides, the researchers said.
Kansas State University researchers are involved in a study that found climate change may reduce the growth and stature of big bluestem -- a dominant prairie grass and a major forage grass for cattle.
Restoration projects to remove invasive plants can make a positive impact on native plant species. But a new study featured in the journal Invasive Plant Science and Management shows restoration has an additional benefit. Removal of invasive species growing alongside a stream or river can also improve the biodiversity of aquatic organisms.
Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide have identified a naturally occurring wheat gene that, when turned off, eliminates self-pollination but still allows cross-pollination -- opening the way for breeding high-yielding hybrid wheats.
The quinoa plant might serve as a model for making other crops salt-tolerant. It grows well on saline soils because the excess salt is simply dumped into special bladders on its leaves.
Researchers at Umeå University and Wageningen University have discovered how plants can defend themselves against aphids. They recorded aphid behavior on video, and identified a plant protein that keeps aphids from feeding. The results have been published in the journal the Plant Cell.