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Tag: plant

Plant roots began following gravity 350 million years ago

Plant roots began following gravity 350 million years ago

Science
Aug. 2 (UPI) -- To make the transition from sea to land, plant roots had to learn to grow downward, to follow gravity. This ability, gravitropism, helped plants anchor to the soil and retrieve water and nutrients. New analysis of this vital adaptation suggests the ability first emerged roughly 350 million years ago. Scientists have studied gravitropism in flowering plants, but until now researchers had not surveyed root growth patterns across the entirety of the plant kingdom. The survey, published this week in the journal Nature Communications, offered scientists new insights into the evolutionary origins of gravitropism. For the study, scientists observed the root growth of several different plant types, including mosses, ferns, conifers and flowering plants. Researchers watched as the...
Mystery ‘tequila plant’ agave to flower in Cambridge after 57 years

Mystery ‘tequila plant’ agave to flower in Cambridge after 57 years

Science
A giant "tequila plant" is set to flower for the first - and only - time after more than half a century.The flower spike appeared a month ago at Cambridge University Botanic Garden and is now three metres (10ft) tall.Staff have been tending the agave, part of a family of plants from which tequila is made, since 1962 but cannot confirm its species until it flowers.They will soon have to remove the roof of the glasshouse as it continues to grow, but once it flowers, it will die.Experts at the garden were delighted when the plant's spike began to grow, indicating it will finally bloom. The succulent resembles a gi...
Plant extinction ‘bad news for all species’

Plant extinction ‘bad news for all species’

Science
Almost 600 plant species have been lost from the wild in the last 250 years, according to a comprehensive study.The number is based on actual extinctions rather than estimates, and is twice that of all bird, mammal and amphibian extinctions combined.Scientists say plant extinction is occurring up to 500 times faster than what would be expected naturally.In May, a UN report estimated that one million animal and plant species were threatened with extinction. Researchers say their analysis of all documented plant extinctions in the world shows what lessons can be learned to stop future extinctions.Most people can name a mammal or bird that has become extinct in recent centuries, but few could name an extinct plant, said Dr Aelys Hum...
Study: Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 years

Study: Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in last 250 years

Science
June 11 (UPI) -- Almost 600 plant species have gone extinct in the last 250 years, which is twice the number of birds, mammals and amphibians to have disappeared from the Earth in the same period combined, according to a new study. Published Monday in the journal Nature, Ecology & Evolution, the study states that 571 plants have been wiped from the face of the Earth and plants species are going extinct 500 times faster than the normal rate of loss without human intervention. The number was calculated by one of the study's co-authors, Rafael Govaerts, after reviewing all publications on plant extinctions over 30 years. The study shows that the number of extinct plant species is four times higher than previous compilations and twice the combined 271 birds, mammals and amphibians record...
UK economy shrank in April after Brexit car plant shutdowns

UK economy shrank in April after Brexit car plant shutdowns

Business
The UK economy shrank by 0.4% in April, after a "dramatic fall" in car manufacturing, the Office for National Statistics said. A number of car plants owned by the likes of Jaguar Land Rover and Honda temporarily halted production in April, to mitigate any disruption to their supply chains as Britain prepared to leave the European Union. JLR shut down all three UK manufacturing plants and its engineering plant between 8-12 April, for the second time in six months.Last July the company warned that its UK plants and at least 40,000 jobs are at risk if the country leaves the European Union without a free trade deal.Honda stopped production for six days in the same month, and plans to shut its Swindon plant altogether by 2022, with 3,500 UK jobs at stake. ...