A new way to monitor the effects of climate change on rainforests is being investigated at Cambridge University. Researchers are using biomarkers in the shape of epiphytes (‘air-plants’ which grow on other plants) to find out how their photosynthesis and water evaporation have been affected by climate change over the last 50 years.
Using types of epiphytes known as bromeliads, Monica Mejia-Chang from Professor Howard Griffiths’ lab in Cambridge has been measuring the levels of two stable isotopes, 13C and 18O in the organic material and leaf-water of the plants. These isotopes accumulate in the plant over time and are indicators of photosynthesis and water evaporation, respectively. Because the plants are subjected to conditions such as fog and high rainfall, the levels of these two isotopes can be matched against the changing environments to which the plants have been exposed. If successful, these plants could be used as bioindicators of climate change throughout the tropics.
Monica will be presenting her work at the Society for Experimental Biology Annual Main Meeting in Barcelona, on Wednesday 13th July [session P9.30].
Diana van Gent | alfa
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More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.
Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...
Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.
"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...
The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.
Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...
The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...
Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.
Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...
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