Back to my PhD for this post as a chapter of my thesis has just been published! We go back to the theme of temporal dynamism, i.e. the timing and rate of processes. I’ve talked before about the temporal dynamics of nutrient uptake in plants (https://plantsand.wordpress.com/2019/02/25/barley-timing) using barley (Hordeum vulgare) as a model plant. We … More Looking underground
One of the most famous long term ecological studies is Buxton Climate Change Impacts Laboratory (BCCIL), examining the effect of climate change on plant community composition. It was initially set up in the 1980s by Phil Grimes and colleagues in response to emerging concerns about the ecological consequences of climate change. Initial funding came after … More Buxton and long term ecology
This week was the BES Plant Soil Ecosystem SIG and Ecological Continuation Trust (ECT) joint meeting, looking at long term ecological studies and their value in understanding the function of a range of ecosystems. I’ve put together a list of the long term studies that stood out to me during the meeting here: Raindrop This … More Long story short
Plants experience stress in response to changes in the environment including drought, heat, pests and diseases (see my blog post about plant stresses). When plants experience extreme stress it can be relatively easy to detect. Wilting can indicate drought and heat stress, yellowing of leaves can suggest nutrient deficiency, whilst browning of leaves can indicate … More Eye in the sky for crop stress
Working at the James Hutton Institute means there is a massive scope of research all around me! From hydrology just down the corridor, analytical sciences downstairs and social science two floors down, the range of expertise in one building is amazing (there’s even more at the Dundee site!). Once a year this expertise is brought together … More Hutton Symposium 2018
As part of my PhD I have been looking at the activity of microbes in the soil using zymography – a really cool technique that I think deserves some extra focus… What is soil microbe enzyme activity? Soil is full of microbes (see my last blog post about the soil microbial community) carrying out a range … More Smile for the camera!
Unlike animals, plants run away from danger. The environment often puts multiple stresses on a plant at once, such as heat and drought stress during the summer or a pest and disease attacking at the same time (1). Plants therefore need to detect and respond to the environment as it changes around them. However, responses … More Ahhhhh stressed plants!
Trace concentrations of metals such as nickel, cadmium and selenium are present in most soils. Plants require very low concentrations of many metals as micronutrients, but high concentrations can be toxic. High metal concentrations can occur naturally in some soils due to underlying geology or can occur through human activities such as mining, pesticide application and … More Poison or Protection?
Under our feet, there are an estimated one billion bacteria in every teaspoon of soil. Ecosystems on land and even in water with interconnected combinations of predators, prey, producers and consumers, but in soil all this happens at a microscopic scale. Soil microbes interact with each other as well as plants in many ways which are … More Mighty soil microbes