Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mistletoes give away soil contamination

22.12.2008
Scientists of the Julius Kühn-Institut show relationship between abundance of mistletoes and heavy metal contamination of soils

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.

Your scientific contact:
Prof. Dr. Dr. habil. Dr. h.c. Ewald Schnug
Institute for Crop and Soil Science
at Julius Kühn-Institut (JKI) - Federal Research Center for Cultivated Plants
Bundesallee 50, 38116 Braunschweig
phone.: +49 531/ 596-2102
e-mail: pb@jki.bund.de
Background information on the project:
The research project "A contribution to occurrence of hardwood mistletoe on heavy metal contaminated soils" is under investigation since 2003 and was finalised in 2008. Results have been published in two PhD and one MSc theses. Research was partly carried out with HISCIA in Dornach (Switzerland) and Jacobs University in Bremen. Interim results are published in the special issue 301 of FAL - Agricultural Research: Ramm, H. (2006): Einfluss bodenchemischer Standortfaktoren auf Wachstum und pharmazeutische Qualität von Eichenmisteln (Viscum album auf Quercus robur und petreae). In one of the next issues of vTI Agriculture and Forestry Research a paper on "Potential correlation of heavy metals in surface soils with infestation of Viscum album in poplar trees" by Sharma, Steckel, Koschinsky and Schnug (2009) will be published.

Stefanie Hahn | idw
Further information:
http://www.jki.bund.de

Further reports about: Kühn-Institut Mistletoes Soil Soil Science contaminated soil crop heavy metals

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Waste in the water – New purification techniques for healthier aquatic ecosystems
24.07.2018 | Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen

nachricht Plenty of habitat for bears in Europe
24.07.2018 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>