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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Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.
Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...
In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.
Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...
Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
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