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 »
Kristel Schoonderwoerd and Ned Friedman closely examined the timing and morphology of ovule and seed development in Franklinia alatamaha. They found a very unusual situation. The zygote undergoes dormancy shortly after fertilization until the following growing season. Seed development is completed an entire year after fertilization has occurred. The results are published in the Botanical Journal of the Linnean Society. abstract »
Pollination drops are ovular secretions that form a landing site for pollen in many gymnosperms. Arboretum Putnam Fellow Cary Pirone-Davies and coworkers characterized both the proteins present in the pollination drops and the ovule transcriptome in Cephalotaxus. The results published in Annals of Botany, shed light on the pollination biology of Cephalotaxus. AoBBlog» abstract »
Published in Nature Climate Change (abstract), Elizabeth Wolkovich and Ben Cook examined the phenology of wine grapes and its relationship to climate change. Using 500 years of harvest dates across France, they found that warming due to climate change is linked to much earlier harvest dates. Harvard gazette» NPR»
The Harvard University Center for the Environment is offering summer research assistantships for Harvard Undergraduates. With positions open in both the Friedman Lab and Wolkovich Lab at the Arboretum, students would have the opportunity to study plant responses to climate change. Interested undergraduates should apply via HUCE.
The Australian bee, Amegilla murrayensis, has an unique technique to release pollen from flowers. Rather than shaking the anthers with its mandibles like the American bumblebee, it uses its head. Published in Arthropod-Plant Interactions, Callin Switzer and colleagues compared the pollination behavior of the two bees. abstract »