Category Archives: Plant Science

Transformed trees! Drought changes the plumbing system of rainforest trees

Trees in tropical rainforests play an important role in the water balance of the planet. Every tree is like a fountain, drawing water up from the soil and putting it out into the atnosphere. Just one large mature tree may … Continue reading

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Mapping the world’s savanna and rainforest – a citizen science project

Would you be a modern-day cartographer, to help map the world’s vegetation? Understanding the distribution of the world’s savanna and rainforest is going to depend on the world’s citizens! Like you and me. Citizen science, i.e. science done with the … Continue reading

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Pilgrimage to an ecological mecca – the Connell plot

Ecologists are pious nerds, and from time to time we embark on pilgrimages to visit sites of ecological significance. This post is on one such site. The year 1978 marked a significant advance in ecological science. It was the year that saw … Continue reading

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Plant communities – no real definition after a century!

Every time I hear about the conservation of plant communities I don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. This might sound odd coming from one who shamelessly professes to be a nature lover and is therefore supposed to be … Continue reading

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Idea – How tree architecture affects flammability

A rare chance to have a conversation with Prof William Bond from the University of Cape Town about fire ecology and he made me aware of the possibility that the architecture of trees may have an effect on flammability of … Continue reading

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Critique of the science of ecology

Immersing myself in the science of plant ecology as a student has led me to some observations about the field which was initially like a bucket of a cold water, and which continue to be very confronting. It is confronting … Continue reading

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How many plants are there in the world?

How many plants exist? I was doing some literature research asking specifically how many trees are there in the world and amazingly, it took me half a day before I managed to get a reliable scientific reference that quotes a … Continue reading

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