The Biology of Bonsai Trees: The Science Behind the Traditional Japanese Art Form

The art of bonsai originated in China. As subsequently refined in Japan, its techniques produce miniature trees that give aesthetic pleasure to people all around Asia and the wider world beyond. This appreciation is reflected in the couple-on-the-street interview footage incorporated into “The Biology Behind Bonsai Trees,” the video above from Youtuber Jonny Lim, better … Read more

California Commission Deadlocks on Protecting Western Joshua Trees as Threatened Species, Center for Biological Diversity Reports

June 17, 2022 – LOS ANGELES— The California Fish and Game Commission deadlocked on Thursday on whether to give western Joshua trees permanent protection under the state’s Endangered Species Act, delaying a final decision until at least October. The 2-2 vote means the species stays protected at least until the commission votes to either extend … Read more

Olive trees were first domesticated 7,000 years ago – BIOENGINEER.ORG

A joint study by researchers from Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University unraveled the earliest evidence for domestication of a fruit tree. The researchers analyzed remnants of charcoal from the Chalcolithic site of Tel Zaf in the Jordan Valley and determined that they came from olive trees. Since the olive did not grow naturally … Read more

Inspired by palm trees, scientists develop hurricane-resilient wind turbines – BIOENGINEER.ORG

Wind technology is growing — literally. Today’s offshore wind turbines can tower more than 490 feet above ground, their spinning blades churning out up to 8 megawatts (MW) each — about enough to power 4000 homes in the US Wind technology is growing — literally. Today’s offshore wind turbines can tower more than 490 feet … Read more

Commission Votes Wednesday on Protecting California’s Joshua Trees as Threatened Species, Center for Biological Diversity Reports

June 15, 2022 – LOS ANGELES The California Fish and Game Commission will vote Wednesday on whether to permanently protect western Joshua trees under the state’s Endangered Species Act. Joshua trees are threatened by climate change and habitat destruction from development in their Mojave Desert home. If Joshua trees win permanent protection, state and local … Read more

Birds win in coffee landscapes with forests and shade trees – BIOENGINEER.ORG

A new study finds that two conservation strategies provide complementary benefits to native birds found in coffee-growing regions. Setting aside forest preserves more forest specialists and breeding birds while growing coffee under a shade tree canopy protects more generalists and nonbreeding birds. These findings have direct implications for Smithsonian’s Bird Friendly coffee certification program and … Read more

Iconic Siberian Tundra Is on Track to Entirely Vanish Off The Face of The Planet

The Siberian tundra could disappear by the year 2500, unless greenhouse gas emissions are dramatically reduced. Even in the best-case scenarios, two-thirds of this landscape – defined by its short growing season and cover of grasses, moss, shrubs and lichens – could vanish, leaving behind two fragments separated by 1,553 miles (2,500 kilometers), scientists recently … Read more

Most of our evolutionary trees could be wrong, shows study

Credit: Eugene Zhyvchik / Unsplash. New study led by scientists at the Milner Center for Evolution at the University of Bath suggests that determining evolutionary trees of organisms by comparing anatomy rather than gene sequences is misleading. The study, published in Communications Biology, shows that we often need to overturn centuries of scholarly work that … Read more

Most of Our Evolutionary Trees Could Be Wrong

Elephant shrews are more closely related to elephants than they are to shrews, according to molecular evolutionary trees. An evolutionary tree, or phylogenetic tree, is a branching diagram showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species based upon similarities and differences in their characteristics. Historically, this was done using their physical characteristics – the similarities … Read more

Science speaks: Seeing a lake for the trees (Opinion)

Lake Tahoe’s cold, clear water provides an oasis in a dry landscape. Fed by the Lake, the lower Truckee River supports flourishing communities and ecosystems along its length and through to its final destination at Pyramid Lake. While a remarkable set of conservation efforts protect Lake Tahoe from urban runoff and pollutants, the majority of … Read more