How can butterfly behavior influence plant evolution? On the latest episode of Science IRL, Arnold Arboretum scientists Robin Hopkins and Heather Briggs take us through their research investigating this question. Watch the episode to get an inside look at their research into the effects of pipevine swallowtail behavior on the evolution of flower color in the wildflower Phlox!
Some flowers release pollen out of small pores in the anthers. Bumblebees (Bombus impatiens Cresson) coax this pollen out by vibrating their bodies (buzz pollination or sonication). In research published in Apidologie, Callin Switzer and colleagues observed bumblebees in the urban environment of the Arboretum, the rural environment of the Concord Field Station and in the greenhouse. They found that they alter their sonication behavior depending on which plants they visit and the environmental conditions. abstract »
Kasia Zieminska was awarded an Arnold Arboretum Putnam Fellowship. Kasia received her PhD in 2014 from Macquarie University in Sydney Australia where she worked with Mark Westoby and Ian Wright. At the Arboretum, Kasia will be studying the relationship between diversity in anatomical structure and water storage mechanisms and how this relationship influences plant biodiversity and ecological strategies. She will be focusing on ~25 diverse species in the Arboretum. Congratulations Kasia!
In new work published in Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Elizabeth Wolkovich, Arboretum scientist and assistant professor in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, reviews the complexities in soil food webs, including nutrient recycling, omnivory, and the channels through which energy and resources flow. abstract »
In a newly published study, Rosanne Healy (2013 Sargent Award recipient) and colleagues detected eight truffle species (genus Tuber), including a brand new species previously unknown to science, in the root communities of some of our trees. To honor the location of its discovery, the truffle has been named Tuber arnoldianum. abstract » Boston Globe »
Stacey Leicht-Young (2013 Putnam Fellow), Rosanne Healy (2013 Sargent Award recipient) and Peter Del Tredici (Senior Scientist Emeritus) collaborated on a project to examine the associations of nonnative plants with the native fungal community in the field. They found that Celastrus orbiculatus Thunb. or Oriental bittersweet is colonized by native endomycorrhizal fungi, potentially aiding the ability of oriental bittersweet to move into new landscapes. abstract »