First-ever fern checklist for Togo to help decision makers in the face of threats to biodiversity

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  • June 22, 2018
  • Ferns and their allied species, which together comprise the pteridophytes, are vascular non-flowering plants that reproduce via spores. Many of their species are admired for their aesthetics. However, despite being excellent bioindicators that allow for scientists and decision-makers to monitor the state of ecosystems in the face of climate change and global biodiversity crisis, these […]

    Poison ivy an unlikely hero in warding off exotic invaders?

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  • November 14, 2017
  • 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 […]

    Effects of soil and drainage on the savanna vegetation in the northern Brazilian Amazonia

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  • July 27, 2017
  • It is a well-known fact that environmental factors such as soil texture and drainage determine to a very large degree the vegetation appearance, richness and composition at any site. However, there has been little research on how these variables influence the flora in the marvellous savannas – large open areas characterised by a complex and […]

    Invasive alien plant control assessed for the Kruger National Park in South Africa

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  • June 6, 2017
  • Along with urban and agricultural encroachment and pollution mitigation, managing invasive alien species is a key intervention needed to protect biodiversity. Unfortunately, on a global scale there are not enough funds to meet the requirements for effective conservation everywhere, which means that scarce funds need to be allocated where they can be used most efficiently. […]

    Orchid or Demon: Flower of a new species of orchid looks like a devil’s head

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  • July 12, 2016
  • A lone and unique population of about 30 reddish to dark violet-maroon orchids grows on the small patch of land between the borders of two Colombian departments. However, its extremely small habitat is far from the only striking thing about the new species. A closer look at its flowers’ heart reveals what appears to be […]

    Remarkably diverse flora in Utah, USA, trains scientists for future missions on Mars

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  • June 9, 2016
  • Future Martian explorers might not need to leave the Earth to prepare themselves for life on the Red Planet. The Mars Society have built an analogue research site in Utah, USA, which simulates the conditions on our neighbouring planet. Practicing the methods needed to collect biological samples while wearing spacesuits, a team of Canadian scientists […]

    From a bulletin to a modern open access journal: Italian Botanist in Pensoft’s portfolio

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  • May 12, 2016
  • Established in the distant 1888, the Italian Botanical Society has gone a long way towards publishing its achievements and research. Originated as a bulletin within an Italian journal, they have been growing ever since to now form a new international journal in its own right. Covering both Italian and international research in botany and mycology, […]

    Curious new bush species growing ‘bleeding’ fruits named by a US class of 150 7th graders

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  • May 4, 2016
  • A class of 150 US 7th graders has helped select a name for a newly discovered plant, which amazes with its fruits that appear to be bleeding once they are cut open. Bucknell University biology professor Chris Martine and life science teacher Bradley Catherman challenged the students to come up with ideas for what to call […]

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

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  • April 21, 2016
  • 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

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  • April 20, 2016
  • 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 […]