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Considered an icon of conservation science, researchers at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) headquarters in Washington, D.C.,...
The new atlas, which shows the distribution of important trace metals and other substances, is the first product of...
Early in April, the first of a fleet of environmental monitoring satellites will lift off from Europe's spaceport in...
Since 2000, U.S. government health research agencies have spent almost $1 billion on an effort to churn out thousands...
Magdalena Koziol, a former postdoc at Yale University, was the victim of scientific sabotage. Now, she is suing the...
Antiretroviral drugs can protect people from becoming infected by HIV. But so-called pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP...
Two studies show that eating a diet low in protein and high in carbohydrates is linked to a longer, healthier life, and...
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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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