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17 April 2014 12:48 pm ,
Vol. 344 ,
Officials last week revealed that the U.S. contribution to ITER could cost $3.9 billion by 2034—roughly four times the...
An experimental hepatitis B drug that looked safe in animal trials tragically killed five of 15 patients in 1993. Now,...
Using the two high-quality genomes that exist for Neandertals and Denisovans, researchers find clues to gene activity...
A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes that humanity has done little to slow...
Astronomers have discovered an Earth-sized planet in the habitable zone of a red dwarf—a star cooler than the sun—500...
Three years ago, Jennifer Francis of Rutgers University proposed that a warming Arctic was altering the behavior of the...
- 17 April 2014 12:48 pm , Vol. 344 , #6181
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ScienceShot: Oak Trees Listen to the Weather
22 February 2013 1:30 pm
Trees that produce huge fruit crops one year and none the next can also show spot-on timing, even when far apart: Among valley oaks (shown here) and blue oaks, individual trees separated by hundreds of kilometers often have simultaneous acorn booms and busts. But what kicks off this synchronized acorn extravaganza? To find out whether environmental conditions or wind-borne pollen are key, researchers made annual acorn-counting pilgrimages to 12 sites ringing California's Central Valley. They matched acorn tallies with temperature and rainfall records. In the current issue of Ecology, they found both species of oaks bearing bumper acorn crops in the same week or two during boom years, even when trees were more than 600 kilometers apart. That's too far for pollen to travel reliably. Instead, the researchers found, when it comes to oaks matching their acorn output, weather during springtime flowering seemed to be key.
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