Forests provide humans with economically important and often irreplaceable products and services, and affect global climate by acting as sources and sinks of heat-trapping carbon dioxide. Yet the possible responses of forests to ongoing environmental changes are poorly understood. In the most recent issue of Ecology Letters, Stephenson and van Mantgem show that birth and death rates of trees vary in parallel with global patterns of forest productivity.
In less productive forests, such as coniferous forests growing at high latitudes, a century or more can pass before half of all trees die and are replaced with new growth. In contrast, in the world’s most productive forests – tropical forests growing on fertile soils – half of all trees die and are replaced by new growth in only thirty years. The faster turnover of trees means that the world’s most productive forests may also be those likely to respond most rapidly – positively or negatively – to environmental changes.
Lynne Miller | alfa
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On the way to an intelligent laboratory, physicists from Innsbruck and Vienna present an artificial agent that autonomously designs quantum experiments. In initial experiments, the system has independently (re)discovered experimental techniques that are nowadays standard in modern quantum optical laboratories. This shows how machines could play a more creative role in research in the future.
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For the first time, scientists have precisely measured the effective electrical charge of a single molecule in solution. This fundamental insight of an SNSF Professor could also pave the way for future medical diagnostics.
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At the JEC World Composite Show in Paris in March 2018, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be focusing on the latest trends and innovations in laser machining of composites. Among other things, researchers at the booth shared with the Aachen Center for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) will demonstrate how lasers can be used for joining, structuring, cutting and drilling composite materials.
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Scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech) and Tohoku University have developed high-quality GFO epitaxial films and systematically investigated their ferroelectric and ferromagnetic properties. They also demonstrated the room-temperature magnetocapacitance effects of these GFO thin films.
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