Nature published an astonishing paper this week with an estimate of the number of trees that live on Earth (1, link goes to Nature’s release describing the work & a great video): 3,040,00,000,000 trillion (± 96,000,000,000 billion/0.096 trillion 95% confidence intervals). That’s a lot of cellulose (the most abundant molecule in plant cell walls & most abundant … More 3,040,000,000,000 Trees
Plant Biology is the name of the annual meeting organized by The American Society of Plant Biologists- ASPB (& sometimes co-organized with partner plant science societies from around the world). This is one gathering of the plant science community, one of the bigger ones that occurs each year involving over 1,000 plant scientists over 5 … More What is Plant Biology? (#plantbiology15)
Being multi-cellular has advantages. Specialization of cells for different jobs is one advantage– akin to humans adopting agriculture, freeing up some of us to do other things. Multi-cellularity is also quite challenging as those cells have to communicate well together and there are more cells to feed/keep healthy. Different cells have to be able to … More Guardians of Gas Exchange.
Flowering Flowering is a killer application of the natural world. There are 300,000 extant species of flowering plants, dwarfing any other type of plant. There are only several thousand species of other types of plants (about 15,000 mosses exist today– the next most abundant group of plants). To say flowers are an evolutionary success story … More Flowering time and genetic memory.
This week, I’m taking a break from the cutting edge science and am going to talk about getting outside to walk in a natural, green setting. The Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT has a network of trails with some outdoor exhibits, including the planet walk. Starting from The Sun, the planets are laid out … More Nature walk.
For the last 3 years, Fascination of Plants Day has been observed to take note of plants in our world and to really become aware of these organisms that are right in front of us and yet go unnoticed so often. Plants are ubiquitous to the point that they’re a medium we exist in. Even in … More Fascination of Plants
What is a plant? And why care about them or study them? These may seem like obvious questions. They’re the green things. Some of them we eat and we’ve been selectively breeding crops for ~10,000 years. As you’re reading, I invite you to think about where plants show up in your own life. There is … More What is a plant?
The Quiet Branches is a blog about the under-noticed parts of nature that are extremely important to our lives, particularly plant life. Plants are ubiquitous and this is a space where I’d like to tell their stores through writing about research, history, and misconceptions (see this on plant blindness as one example) of plants, plant sciences, and plant … More Welcome to The Quiet Branches