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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: 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.