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Plants & fungi

New species found in Kew glasshouse

Nepenthes zygon
Wed, 2015-02-04 09:05

Each year Kew scientists publish numerous species of plants and fungi from around the world that are new to science. However, discovering one in a glasshouse at Kew, rather than a remote corner of the tropics, is unusual.

Extinct grass sequenced

Guillaume Besnard and Nanjarisoa Olinirina Prisca
Mon, 2015-02-02 12:46

Collections of specimens held by herbaria and museums are invaluable material for biodiversity inventory and evolutionary studies, with specimens accumulated over 300 years readily available for sampling. Unfortunately, most specimens yield low-quality DNA. However, recent advances in sequencing technologies, so-called next-generation sequencing, are revolutionizing phylogenetic investigations at a deep level.

Mycorrhizas in forest monitoring

Mycorrhizas in forest monitoring
Mon, 2015-01-12 15:59

Ectomycorrhizas play a pivotal role in temperate, boreal and some tropical forests by facilitating the uptake of water and nutrients from soil, enhancing drought resistance, and protecting roots from attackers. Changes in forest mycorrhizal communities are likely to affect the resilience of forest ecosystems to environmental changes, especially if the functions provided by these fungi are altered or disappear. Despite this, mycorrhizal fungi are rarely used in measures of forest status because large-scale, high-resolution, standardized and replicated belowground data are scarce.

The best gardening and nature books

Mon, 2014-11-24 12:32

We've selected a range of Kew books that will make ideal gifts, with ideas for foodies, gardeners, photography enthusiasts, art lovers and even plant hunters. These are some of our bestselling, award-winning titles.

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