Invasions of awfully pretty and pretty awful plants and other stories

Plant invasions are a common theme in the stories we shared on social media recently.

Plant nurseries are exacerbating the climate-driven spread of 80% of invasive species

Researchers have provided detailed maps of how 144 common invasive plant species will react to 2° Celsius of climate change in the eastern U.S., as well as the role that garden centers currently play in seeding future invasions.

Colonizing Plants: How Bougainvillea Conquered the World

Shahnaz Habib on the Relationship Between Colonialism, Natural Science and Travel.

Tiny Forest at Lyndhurst Community of Faith Church may have big benefits

When I visited the beautiful native pollinator garden at the Lyndhurst Community of Faith Church, described in a column last August, congregant John McCumber told me that the church was also planting a “Tiny Forest.” I had never heard the term before and imagined an oversized fairy garden with miniature trees and perhaps a pony ride.

This Raspberry Pi robot dog waters thirsty plants using AI

This Raspberry Pi watering system thinks it’s a dog.

At least 241 invasive plants mapped in 7 South Asian countries; India tops list

Scientists from India and six other countries have come up with an inventory of 241 plants, which were introduced in south Asian countries and have over the years become Invasive Alien Species (IAS). India tops the list with 185 such plant species.

Microbes essential to plants are disappearing due to global warming

Overall, these diminishing bacteria were found to be crucial missing elements from fruitful agroecosystems responsible for yielding food. Could they lead to a nutritional shortage?


Multi-omics analysis reveals activation of jasmonate synthesis and modulation of oxidative stress responses in boron-deficient pea shoots

New study in pea shoots shows boron deficiency dynamically alters metabolism – increasing oxidative stress while reprogramming biosynthesis of lignins, flavonoids and jasmonates. Jasmonate accumulation notably plays role in modulating membrane/cell wall function during deficiency. Findings identify targets like jasmonate signaling and antioxidant capacity for breeding boron deficiency tolerance.

Physical infrastructure and global capacity are both needed to fight biodiversity loss ($)

Kersey and Antonelli respond to recent reporting on the plan to move Kew Herbarium from Kew to Reading.

Generalist and topologically central avian frugivores promote plant invasion unequally across land-bridge islands ($)

Seed dispersal by frugivorous birds facilitates plant invasions, but it is poorly known how invasive plants integrate into native communities in fragmented landscapes. Zhu et al. surveyed plant-frugivore interactions, including an invasive plant (Phytolacca americana), on 22 artificial land-bridge islands (fragmented forests) in the Thousand Island Lake, China. Focusing on frugivory interactions that may lead to seed-dispersal, they built ecological networks of studied islands both at local island (community) and at landscape (metacommunity) levels.

Complex floral traits shape pollinator attraction to flowering plants in urban greenspaces (OA)

Urban greenspaces are recognized as a benefit to pollinator conservation. Selective planting of attractive flowering plants can improve the conservation value of urban greenspaces. However, the functional traits of flowering plants that moderate pollinator preference merits further study. Wang et al. analyzed 98 ornamental plants and spontaneous plant species for ten categories of floral and plant traits across twelve parks or campus greenspaces in Wuhan, a megacity located in central China.

Plant hormones mediate the interaction between oak acorn germination and rodent hoarding behaviour ($)

The interaction between animals and plants for seed dispersal and predation has received much attention; however, the underlying physiological mechanisms driving the responses of both seeds and animals remain unclear. Li et al. conducted a series of behaviour and physiology experiments to examine the role of plant hormones in regulating seed germination and rodent hoarding behaviour in the Quercus variabilis and Leopoldamys edwardsi systems.

The combined effects of habitat fragmentation and life history traits on specialisation in lichen symbioses (OA)

Berlinches de Gea et al. investigate the combined effect of habitat fragmentation, forest structure and life-history traits (growth form and reproductive mode) on the specialisation of lichen-forming fungi (mycobionts) toward their photosynthetic partners (photobionts) in lichen symbioses.


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