Recent Posts

Opinion: Seeds as natural capital (Trends Plant Sci)($)

Plants are increasingly being recognized for their contributions to human wellbeing. However, most attention has been given to services provided by adult plants or those derived from their interaction with pollinators. In this exciting piece, Mattana and colleagues advocate for the importance of seeds…

Plant scientists’ research attention is skewed towards colourful, conspicuous and broadly distributed flowers (Nature Plants)

Chicana feminist writer Cherríe Moraga wrote in her anthology This Bridge Called My Back, with regards to the necessary inclusion of women of color in contemporary progressive politics: “It is not always a matter of the actual bodies in the room, but of a life dedicated to a growing awareness of who…

Effect of nitrogen addition on selection of germination trait in an alpine meadow on the Tibet Plateau (Front. Plant Sci.)

Considering that atmospheric nitrogen (N) and N deposition have increased due to human activities, understanding the effects of this element in plant communities has become increasingly important. Still, the role of germination traits in these changes at the community level is poorly understood. Here,…

Review: On tree longevity (New Phytol)

Everyone enjoys hearing about ancient trees that have been alive since various events in human history, but did you ever stop to wonder why some trees live for millennia and others don’t? If so, you’ll want to read this Tansley Review by Piovesan and Biondi. One of their first observations is that…

Genomic mechanisms of climate adaptation in polyploid bioenergy switchgrass (Nature)

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a tall, perennial species native to the prairies of North America. Switchgrass is well-known for its uses as a biofuel and forage crop. However, switchgrass is also a fascinating model to investigate how plants adapt to changing environments, as historical glacial cycles…

The seed germination spectrum of alpine plants ($) (New Phytol.)

Alpine ecosystems include all the environments found above the treeline, the maximum elevation where trees can grow. These environments are known for their low temperatures, unstable substrates, and short growing seasons. However, while germination studies in this ecosystem can be traced back to…

Elevation filters seed traits and germination strategies in the eastern Tibetan Plateau (Ecography)

Mountains are extraordinary natural laboratories. They encompass a wide range of environments in a relatively small space, making them ideal for assessing how different environmental variables shape plant traits and communities. Here, Wang and colleagues evaluate how seed functional traits vary along…

The first dormancy profile for a tropical montane forest community (Plant Biol.) ($)

Seed dormancy is a crucial mechanism to synchronize germination with the most suitable environmental conditions. Therefore, assessing its prevalence at the community level allows us to understand how plants adapt to their local environment. In this paper, Athugala and colleagues build the first dormancy…

The rise of angiosperms pushed conifers to decline during global cooling (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA)

During the Triassic and Jurassic periods (approximately 250 – 140 million years ago), Earth was dominated by gymnosperms including conifers. Today, the number of species and individuals is greatly reduced from their heyday, and instead Earth is dominated by angiosperms. Although it is widely stated…