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News from the Lab (news.myScience.ch)

  • News from the Lab’ is a selection of scientific works that are significant or interesting for a broad readership. 
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Environment



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Life Sciences - Environment - 23.09.2020
Genome Duplications as Evolutionary Adaptation Strategy
Genome duplications play a major role in the development of forms and structures of plant organisms and their changes across long periods of evolution. Heidelberg University biologists under the direction of Marcus Koch made this discovery in their research of the Brassicaceae family. To determine the scope of the different variations over 30 million years, they analysed all 4,000 species of this plant family and investigated at the genus level their morphological diversity with respect to all their characteristic traits.

Environment - 22.09.2020
Ecologists confirm Alan Turing's theory for Australian fairy circles
Ecologists confirm Alan Turing’s theory for Australian fairy circles
International research team led by Göttingen University shows patterned vegetation regenerates by -ecosystem engineering- of the grasses Fairy circles are one of nature's greatest enigmas and most visually stunning phenomena. An international research team led by the University of Göttingen has now, for the first time, collected detailed data to show that Alan Turing's model explains the striking vegetation patterns of the Australian fairy circles.

Environment - 15.09.2020
Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils
Reforestation can only partially restore tropical soils
Research team from Göttingen and the USA investigates subsoil in deforested forest areas Tropical forest soils play a crucial role in providing vital ecosystem functions. They provide nutrients for plants, store carbon and regulate greenhouse gases, as well as storing and filtering water, and protection against erosion.

Environment - 14.09.2020
Satellite images display changes in the condition of European forests
Satellite images display changes in the condition of European forests
Newly created map indicates openings in the European forest canopy The forest canopy (the closed vegetation cover consisting of treetops) is rapidly declining according to a research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences, Vienna.

Environment - 10.09.2020
Bumblebees benefit from faba bean cultivation
Bumblebees benefit from faba bean cultivation
Research team led by the University of Göttingen investigates influence of -greening measures- on pollinators About one third of the payments received by farmers are linked to specific -greening measures- to promote biodiversity. The cultivation of nitrogen-fixing legumes is very popular. However, these measures have been criticized because the benefits for biodiversity are unclear.

Environment - 09.09.2020
Downward Trend Is Reversible
Downward Trend Is Reversible
Ambitious, integrated action combining conservation and restoration efforts with a transformation of the food system. This is the recipe for turning the tide of biodiversity loss by 2050 or earlier, a new study led by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) with participation of researchers from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) suggests.

Environment - 08.09.2020
Consequences of the 2018 summer drought
Research team with participation from Göttingen University investigates effects on plants, forests and grassland The drought that hit central and northern Europe in summer 2018 had serious effects on crops, forests and grasslands. Researchers from the European Research Infrastructure Integrated Carbon Observation System (ICOS), including researchers from the University of Göttingen, are showing what effects this had and what lessons can be learned.

Environment - 27.08.2020
Land use change leads to increased flooding in Indonesia
Land use change leads to increased flooding in Indonesia
International team led by Göttingen University investigates effects on local water cycle While high greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss are often associated with rapid land-use change in Indonesia, impacts on local water cycles have been largely overlooked. Researchers from the University of Göttingen, IPB University in Bogor and BMKG in Jakarta have now published a new study on this issue.

Environment - 27.08.2020
Rapid evolution under climate change
Rapid evolution under climate change
Ecosystems are threatened worldwide by rapid climate change. Plants play a critical role in all ecosystems because they are at the basis of all food webs. For many regions that are already very dry today, such as deserts or semi-deserts, climate scenarios predict even lower precipitation levels. A team of researchers led by Katja Tielbörger from the University of Tübingen has now discovered that certain plant species can evolve very quickly under drought conditions.

Chemistry - Environment - 25.08.2020
Hydrochloric acid boosts catalyst activity
Hydrochloric acid boosts catalyst activity
Hydrochloric acid treatment improves catalysts for removing sulfur from crude oil A research team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) led by chemist Johannes Lercher has developed a synthesis process which drastically increases the activity of catalysts for the desulfurization of crude oil.

Environment - 25.08.2020
Findings From Experimental Biodiversity Sites Are Reliable
Findings From Experimental Biodiversity Sites Are Reliable
Much of our knowledge of how biodiversity benefits ecosystems comes from experimental sites. These sites contain combinations of species that are not found in the real world, which has led some ecologists to question the findings from biodiversity experiments. But the positive effects of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems are more than an artefact of experimental design.

Environment - 24.08.2020
Biodiversity: Findings of experimental sites are reliable
Biodiversity: Findings of experimental sites are reliable
Much of our knowledge of how biodiversity benefits ecosystems comes from experimental sites. These sites contain combinations of species that are not found in the real world, which has led some ecologists to question the findings from biodiversity experiments. But the positive effects of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems are more than an artefact of experimental design.

Life Sciences - Environment - 14.08.2020
Watching changes in plant metabolism - live
Watching changes in plant metabolism - live
Young thale cress seedling (Arabidopsis thaliana) with the fluorescent biosensor in its cells. The false colour image shows the redox status of the NAD pool in the cells and tissue. Rainbow scale from blue (oxidized NAD pool) to red (reduced NAD pool). Almost all life on Earth, in particular our food and our health, depend on metabolism in plants.

Environment - 04.08.2020
Chemicals Inhibit Decomposition Processes - by Damaging Biodiversity
Chemicals Inhibit Decomposition Processes - by Damaging Biodiversity
Declines in the diversity and abundance of decomposers explain reductions in plant decay rates under the influence of chemical stressors, but not added nutrients. These are the new insights of a study published in the open access journal eLife. The global meta-analysis conducted by researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), Leipzig University (UL) and the University of Namur in Belgium highlights the main anthropogenic effects on the biodiversity and functioning of ecosystems, and thus helps predicting the fate of different ecosystems around the world.

Environment - 04.08.2020
Identifying the Blind Spots of Soil Biodiversity
Identifying the Blind Spots of Soil Biodiversity
Soils harbour a substantial part of the world's biodiversity, yet data on the patterns and processes taking place below ground does not represent all relevant ecosystems and taxa. For example, tropical and subtropical regions largely remain a blind spot when it comes to soil biodiversity. This is one of the results of a new study published and led by scientists from the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and Leipzig University.

Environment - Life Sciences - 29.07.2020
Smaller habitats worse than expected for biodiversity
Smaller habitats worse than expected for biodiversity
New international research breaks ground for the next generation of biodiversity forecasts No 131/2020 from Jul 29, 2020 Biodiversity's ongoing global decline has prompted policies to protect and restore habitats to minimize animal and plant extinctions. However, biodiversity forecasts used to inform these policies are usually based on assumptions of a simple theoretical model describing how the number of species changes with the amount of habitat.

Environment - 22.07.2020
Restoring Nature
Restoring Nature
An abandoned space in the middle of Münster: in the historic medicinal plant garden, which hasn't been in use since 2016, nature can pretty much do what it likes. At least, it almost can - anyone who fights their way through an overgrown meadow between Einsteinstraße and Schlossgräfte will come across a clearing, about 50 square metres in size, on which meadow plants are arranged in rows of pots standing on black groundsheets.

Environment - Health - 21.07.2020
Cavefish have fewer cells of the innate immune system
Cavefish have fewer cells of the innate immune system
Adaptation of cavefish to low-parasite environment may provide autoimmune disease insight / Study published in "Nature Ecology & Evolution" Cavefish are small, live in tucked away places humans rarely go, and they're common enough that you can find them on every continent except Antarctica. But they also have another characteristic that seems surprising at first glance: They can tell researchers something about the occurrence of autoimmune diseases in humans.

Environment - Economics / Business - 14.07.2020
Ambitious climate action pays off
Action to mitigate climate change costs money - but damage caused by climate change also entails financial burdens, particularly for future generations. So how much action to mitigate climate change makes economic sense? To find out, an international team of researchers led by the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has fed an earlier computer simulation with current data and findings from climate science and economics.

Economics / Business - Environment - 02.07.2020
Root Economics - Between Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Fungal Outsourcing
Root Economics - Between Do-It-Yourself Strategies and Fungal Outsourcing
International group of researchers with members from Freie Universität Berlin describes the growth strategies of plant roots. No 115/2020 from Jul 02, 2020 An international group of researchers with members from Freie Universität Berlin, the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv), and Wageningen University, among others, has been studying the complex belowground economy of roots.
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