Monthly Archives: November 2012

Trees worldwide a sip away from dehydration

Plumbing systems operate on a razor’s edge, leaving forests vulnerable.  This by Susan Milius in ScienceNews. “Trees in most forests, even wet ones, live perilously close to the limits of their inner plumbing systems, a global survey of forests finds.  Seventy percent of the 226 tree species in forests around the world routinely function near the point where a serious drought would stop water transport from their roots to their leaves, says plant physiologist Brendan Choat of the University of Western Sydney in Richmond, Australia. Trees even Continue reading →

Reef Rumble! Corals attacked by seaweeds use chemical cues to call in grazing fish

Ok, I’ll be honest.  As plant biochemists we usually cheer for the guys in green (in this case, the seaweeds).  But even we can make an exception when fleshy seaweeds attack corals, which are already in serious decline from coral bleaching, warming sea temperatures, and other aspects of climate change.  In a recent article in Science magazine, Dixson and Hay describe one way corals fight back against seaweeds that threaten to overgrow them.  In short, some corals can call in grazing fish – in this case Continue reading →

Ocean fertilization debate goes private

Ocean fertilization is a type of geoenginerring involving the addition of limiting nutrients to ocena surfaces with the goal of increasing phytoplankton productivity, which may take up and store some of the excess carbon dioxide building in the atmosphere.  While it has the potenital to help mitigate climate change it also risks damaging ocean ecosystems.  The US Ocean Carbon and Biogeochemistry Program recently released it’s report of the un-regulated ocean fertilization experiment conducted by a private company off the Pacific coast of Canada this summer, which Continue reading →

1500 and counting……

  Our recent PLoS ONE paper, coauthored by Dickinson students Hannah Leahey, Chris Mealey, and Kelly Maers, passed the 1,500 download milestone this month.  Not bad for a study on seagrasses and marine grazers.  To celebrate we’re reposting a summary of the work  (with some never before seen photos) below: The world’s oceans absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and slow the pace of climate change.  At the same time the absorbed CO2 lowers the pH of ocean waters, changing seawater chemistry in the process called ocean acidification.  This can have Continue reading →