Taking something of a back-to-the-future approach, biologists from Boston University have looked into the past to find that flowering plants growing today blossom more than a week earlier than a century ago. Their findings, being presented at the Society for Conservation Biologys annual meeting in New York City July 30 – August 2, show that among the plants studied in Bostons Arnold Arboretum, flowering times have moved forward over the decades, with the plants flowering eight days earlier on average from 1980 to 2002 than they did from 1900 to 1920.
What has influenced this rush to flower? Primarily temperature, says Richard Primack, a BU biology professor and head of the research team. Since 1885, Bostons mean annual temperature has increased 1.5 degrees Celsius or nearly 3 degrees Fahrenheit. According to Primacks team, this increase in mean temperature, especially in the months February through May, has influenced the shift in flowering times.
In addition to its scientific insights, the study may provide a model for public participation in climate change research. The relatively low-tech, data-from-the-community protocol used by the team might open such studies to participation by botanical gardens, zoos, museums, or even individuals who, over the years, have carefully collected and tended records on how biological organisms respond to their environment.
Ann Marie Menting | EurekAlert!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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