Into the loop

Mobile phones. Almost ubiquitous, it's easy to take them for granted, but our pocket computers are marvels of miniaturisation, promising unbridled connectivity. Their potential seems without limits. That is, until you take your new phone out of the box and realise that the charging port doesn't match the ends of any of the cables you already have. xkcd How annoying. U...
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Don’t go changing…

Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 221:3, February 2019 Myrcia is one of the most species-rich lineages of flowering plants in the tropical Americas. We might expect this diversity to be reflected in the genus' flowers. When researchers analysed the flowers of Myrcia, however, they found very little change during c. 25 million years of evolution. ...
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Pollen grains find safety in numbers

Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 221:2, January 2019 You might think that the image on the latest cover of New Phytologist looks a bit like falling snow, appropriate for this time of year in the northern hemisphere. But what you're actually looking at are pollen grains. The photo shows fragments of pollen tetrads connected by clear, sticky threads of v...
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Revealing fungal function

Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 220:4, December 2018 If you went down to the woods this autumn, did you take a moment to have a closer look at the fungi at your feet, to ponder how they could be affected by changes in the way that woodlands are managed? If you didn't, don't worry - that's exactly what New Phytologist Interaction Section Editor, Prof. Francis Martin, has bee...
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How to trick a hornet

Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 220:3, November 2018 Plants use a variety of ingenious mechanisms to arrange for the onward transport of their seeds by unsuspecting creatures. Stemona tuberosa might employ one of the strangest seed dispersal methods of all. The photograph on the cover of New Phytologist 220:3 shows a hornet (Vespa velutina) biting off a diaspore (seed plus ...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 220:2, October 2018

The search for tabaiba Dust and desert sand billowed from the back of the black 4x4 as it pitched and bumped along the deeply rutted track. Lisa Pokorny and Riki Riina had been searching the flat and deserted landscape, scanning the parched, orange horizon, deep in the Western Sahara, for two days. With success seeming increasingly remote, they crested a rise and were finally ...
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Fungi matter: State of the World’s Fungi 2018

Today sees the release of the State of the World’s Fungi 2018. This is the third report from the ambitious and far reaching State of the World’s Plants and Fungi project led by scientists at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, supported by the Sfumato Foundation. The project aims to assess our knowledge of the diversity of plants and fungi on Earth, the challenges and threats they ...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 220:1, October 2018

To calcify, or not to calcify? Often, it's the smallest things, when taken together, that have the largest impacts. Calcification in the oceans – when calcium accumulates in the body tissues of an organism – is a major sink of carbon dioxide (CO2), and an important influence on the global carbon cycle. Calcification is a key aspect of the biology of the coccolithophores – a gr...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 219:4, September 2018

Dawn light filters through fog between the trees. The scent of needles rises as the air warms. Leaves drip. Emily Burns walks between redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) on the Californian coast. Donning a helmet and harness, Emily clips onto a rope and climbs high into the canopy. As she ascends, the light brightens and the fog thins. Finally reaching a height of 72 metres, Emily...
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Behind the Cover: New Phytologist 219:3, August 2018

It's been hot, hasn't it? While many of us have been enjoying the sunshine, long dry spells are a challenge for plants. The way in which plants control the water content in their leaves is a critical part of their response to climate change. Researchers are finding out more about the ways that plants reduce transpiration rates when their leaves dry out. The photo, taken by Ch...
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