Taking a closer look at plant-sediment interactions in the rhizosphere

The rhizosphere refers to the narrow region of soil or sediment surrounding the plant roots that directly interact with the roots, both chemically and biologically. Although this region is a hotspot for carbon and nutrient cycling, we know very little about this zone. This post describes a new study that collects information from within the rhizosphere using novel optode imagery.

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Ornamental Plants Don’t Dye

Wastewater from textile factories contains chemicals, such as synthetic dyes, that can threaten both the environment and human health. Discharging wastewater to constructed wetlands is a common method for wastewater treatment. Recently, researchers investigated the viability of cultivating constructed wetlands with ornamental plants for the treatment of textile effluent in the hopes of discovering an aesthetically pleasing option for treatment.

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Near-death experiences: sublethal effects of pesticides on pollinating insects

Negative impacts of pesticides on pollinators can take different forms: direct kills on contact (called lethal effects) or indirect effects, through the pollinators’ abilities to reproduce (called sublethal effects). These sublethal effects are generally not spotted by regulatory bodies through traditional ecotoxicological tests, but have severe impacts on pollinator health.

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How air pollutants hurt wheat

Air pollutants like ozone can cause damage to plants. Wheat currently provides 20% of dietary protein and caloric intake for the world’s growing population. A recent analysis led by Gina Mills and scientists from across the globe reports that increased levels of ozone will decrease global production of wheat by 85 million tons. Furthermore, the negative effects of ozone may counteract the positive effects of irrigation in wheat fields.

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Can solar farms help agricultural farms?

Electricity and food are two things each of us consumes every day. It is possible that by making smart choices, we can help grow more food while also generating electricity. Pollinating insects are an important part of agriculture in the US, and we can make electricity choices to increase the number of those insects near our farms.

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