During Christmas time people exchange traditionally kisses under mistletoes. While mistletoes are welcome in private, they may not if populating trees in vast numbers. Scientists of Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) in Braunschweig demonstrated that the semiparasite indicates heavy metal contamination of soils.
The proliferation of mistletoes is related to many factors such as the abundance of host trees, bird species which feed on the berries and distribute them in the environment, microclimate and last but not least individual resistance mechanisms of the host tree. The resistance of trees is reduced on soils which are polluted with heavy metals. Scientists of the Institute for Crop and Soil Science proved only recently in an extended study that in particular poplars are colonised by mistletoes and this in distinctly higher numbers than for instance maple and lime tree.
Ewald Schnug reports that "In the Goslar region in the Harz mountain soils are contaminated with lead, copper and zinc because of its mining history. On soils with a low pollution 9% and on highly contaminated sites 49% of all poplar trees are infested by mistletoes". He further denotes that mistletoes were found more often on black poplar than Lombardy poplar. The scientists provided evidence that an increasing infestation of trees by mistletoes indicate heavy metal contamination of soils. Based on their research which started in 2003, the scientists started to develop a procedure for sensing soil contamination by employing poplars and their mistletoe infestation index as indicators.
Stefanie Hahn | idw
Upcycling 'fast fashion' to reduce waste and pollution
03.04.2017 | American Chemical Society
Litter is present throughout the world’s oceans: 1,220 species affected
27.03.2017 | Alfred-Wegener-Institut, Helmholtz-Zentrum für Polar- und Meeresforschung
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...
20.04.2017 | Event News
18.04.2017 | Event News
03.04.2017 | Event News
27.04.2017 | Life Sciences
27.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
27.04.2017 | Earth Sciences