Invasive species are a menace enough when they wade into a new and vulnerable ecosystem alone, but what happens when they help one another set camp and wage war on ecological stability? A new study has found that an invasive fire ant is doing just that in North America, marching through foreign soils and helping invasive plants spread.
"Remember to eat your veggies, or you won't get desert." That's a common line heard by children everywhere. That's because as omnivores, we humans understand the importance of a balanced diet. Now it appears that "carnivorous" plants may understand this too, mooching on other veggies to supplement their diets.
"Plant intelligence" is a term that's been thrown around a lot these days, especially by a number of scientists. But plants can't really think - or can they? Plants do indeed show signs of "intelligent" behavior, and even learn from interacting with what is around them.
It's that time of the year when the dreaded mistletoe comes out to make children giggle, young ladies blush, and fathers cringe. But this festive plant isn't just about kissing. A new study has revealed that a compound produced by mistletoe can actually help patients fight obesity-related liver disease.
Insect pollinators like bees love feasting on the sweet nectar and pollen of flowering plants, but while tasty, they also contain natural toxins that can negatively affect bee behavior, according to a new study.
And you thought the "Swamp Thing" was only a fictional monster from 1980s Hollywood... A team of paleontologists has recently discovered what could be the oldest fossil of a carnivorous plant, dating back nearly 40 million years.
Age old traditional medicines don't always get it right, but once in a while they prove that practitioners were on to something long before western medicine showed up to steal the show. That's how it is in the case of wild cucumbers, where the compounds that can be found in their fruit and leaves have been rediscovered by modern science.
Not too long ago, the world was introduced to "brown fat," an arguably good type of fat that helps healthy people covert unused calories into body heat - a boon for the winter months, especially when watching one's waistline. Now, a new study has shown that a traditional Chinese medicinal herb can help convert normal fat into this beneficial type.
The phenomenon of seed dormancy - when seeds wait for the right conditions to germinate for months, if not years at a time - has always fascinated experts. Now, researchers have discovered that seeds lay dormant even 360 million years ago, adding a bit more mystique to the already mysterious property.
As extreme weather patterns continue to change with the global climate and shifting trade winds, drought conditions are expected to become more frequent or even worsen for some parts of the world. That's bad news for a stunning number of plant species, which appear to be even more vulnerable to drought conditions than experts expected.
Plants, which rely on photosynthesis for their survival, have learned to depend on a key protein to efficiently harvest energy in a world where light is constantly fluctuating, according to new research.
Well this must be embarrassing... A mapping debacle has led to a boarders intended to protect a newly discovered species of plant to be erroneously moved about 50 kilometers away from where the plant actually resides.
Deluge, droughts, rising sea levels, and shrinking water tables - these are the things of nightmare for farmers and agricultural scientists alike. That's because they know something that most of us don't think about: the world's demand for food is set to increase by two-thirds by mid-century. That's where salt-loving plants, called halophytes, can make a difference.
Here's something you likely haven't thought about. Plants, just like you or I, have skin - just with a slightly different appearance and texture. So why is it that these organisms, which survive off getting as much sunlight as possible, don't ever get sunburn? A team of researchers now believe they have the answer, discovering a naturally produced "sunscreen" that coats leaves and shoots.
The fact that there are less predators stalking them day and night should sound like a good news for a great many herbivores across the globe. But a new study has found that this isn't necessarily the case. With fewer large predators keeping populations in check, herbivores are over-foraging and destroying the delicate ecosystems that have kept them fed for countless years.