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19 December 2013 12:36 pm ,
Vol. 342 ,
After 20 years of trying, researchers have finally convicted massive volcanic eruptions in Siberia as the culprit in...
Five federally funded optical and radio telescopes in the United States could be forced to shut down over the next 3...
A 2-year budget agreement pushes back the threat of sequestration but leaves scientists still wondering how much money...
After a decade away from physics, Robert Laughlin, a Nobel laureate at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California,...
Computer scientists and others have teamed up to persuade the 117 state parties to the Convention on Certain...
The swine flu pandemic of late 2009 had a peculiar aftereffect in parts of Europe: a spike in children being diagnosed...
- 19 December 2013 12:36 pm , Vol. 342 , #6165
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ScienceShot: Where to Find Fungi to Fuel Orchids
26 January 2012 4:54 pm
Young orchids depend entirely on symbiotic fungi to provide energy for growth, and new research shows that those fungi are finicky, preferring older forests. Scientists had previously speculated that fungal distributions influenced orchid distributions. But separating out the effects of soil condition, such as moisture and acidity, has been difficult. So researchers from the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center in Edgewater, Maryland, planted seeds from three endangered orchid species in plots on six sites in Maryland: three in younger forests aged 50 to 70 years old and three in more mature forests aged 120 to150 years old. The scientists added the symbiotic fungi for each orchid to half of the plots. Over 4 years, they found that fungal abundance was highest in mature forests and that orchid germination and growth depended on an abundance of their partner fungi, not merely their presence. The findings could improve conservation and restoration projects for endangered orchids, the authors write.
See more ScienceShots.