Poison ivy an unlikely hero in warding off exotic invaders?

  • November 14, 2017
  • Anna Freundlich, student co-author of the research paper in Biodiversity Data Journal, heading into a survey site.

    Dozens of studies have looked at the effects of Japanese knotweed on natural communities in Europe and North America. Yet Bucknell University professor Chris Martine still felt there was something important to learn about what the plant was doing along the river in his own backyard. “The more time I spent in the forests along the Susquehanna […]

    Artificial neural networks could power up curation of natural history collections

  • November 2, 2017
  • Smithsonian researchers classifying digitized herbarium sheets that have been stained with mercury to build a training dataset.

    Deep learning techniques manage to differentiate between similar plant families with up to 99 percent accuracy, Smithsonian researchers reveal Millions, if not billions, of specimens reside in the world’s natural history collections, but most of these have not been carefully studied, or even looked at, in decades. While containing critical data for many scientific endeavors, […]

    Plants cheat too: A new species of fungus-parasitizing orchid

  • November 4, 2016
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    Plants usually produce their own nutrients by using sun energy, but not all of them. A new ‘cheater’ species of orchid from Japan, lives off nutrients obtained via a special kind of symbiosis with fungi. The study was published in the open access journal PhytoKeys. The new orchid species, named Lecanorchis tabugawaensis, is by far […]

    Poorly known South African mountain endemic appears to be a very valuable keystone species

  • April 21, 2016
  • Image 1  -PhytoKeys blurb

    Mountain ecosystems are valuable providers of key resources including water. These ecosystems comprise diverse species, some of which appear to be especially important to the ecosystem’s functioning. In poorly studied mountain environments in biodiversity-rich countries, these keystone species can often be overlooked and undervalued. Macowania is a group of yellow daisy shrubs occurring in the […]

    South African endemic mountain plant gives itself up after 147-year absence

  • April 20, 2016
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    South Africa’s mountains are essential to the economic well-being of the country, providing many goods and services essential for social and economic prosperity. However, the biodiversity value of these mountains is still poorly understood. This is exemplified by the large number of plant species still only known from one or two collections made well over […]

    New species with heart-shaped fruits inspires a love for biodiversity in Hawai’i

  • February 12, 2016
  • Image1_Heart_Coprosmacordicarpa

    Just in time for Valentine’s Day, botanists from Hawai’i have discovered a new species of plant with small heart-shaped fruits. The new species is a member of the coffee family (Rubiaceae) and part of the genus Coprosma, which occurs across many remote islands of the Pacific Ocean. They named the new Hawaiian species after the symbol […]