Evidence backs Darwin’s theory about ‘runt’ flowers

Until now, no one had properly tested Darwin's hypothesis on the link between cleistogamy and bilateral symmetry in flowers.

Frederique Mazerolle-McGill • futurity
Feb. 3, 2021 ~6 min

Flowers boost predatory insects’ pest control skills

Predatory insects are super pest controllers. Planting flowers can help them help farmers to reduce the use of pesticides.

Katherina Killander-U. Copenhagen • futurity
Jan. 25, 2021 ~6 min

Figs show that nonnative species can invade ecosystems by forming unexpected partnerships

As invasive species transform the world, frontline agencies take solace that species needing unique partners can’t invade alone. A new study on figs shows they may find new partners to invade anyway.

Jared Bernard, Ph.D. Candidate in Entomology, University of Hawaii • conversation
Jan. 19, 2021 ~9 min

Bumble bees in places with fewer flowers are sicker

Bumble bees in low-quality landscapes with fewer flowers and places for nesting have more diseases and parasites, researchers say.

Chuck Gill-Penn State • futurity
Jan. 7, 2021 ~7 min

Team finds chewed psychedelic flowers at rock art site

Archaeologists have long debated the relationship of psychedelics to rock art. New evidence from Pinwheel Cave in California clarifies the connection.

Kristin Strommer-Oregon • futurity
Dec. 9, 2020 ~5 min

Tiny treetop flowers foster incredible beetle biodiversity

In the Amazon, beetles and flowering trees have developed a tight bond. Hundreds of beetle species thrive off of and pollinate blossoms, helping to maintain some of the highest biodiversity on Earth.

Caroline S. Chaboo, Adjunct Professor in Insect Systematics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • conversation
Dec. 3, 2020 ~6 min

Monarchs lay more eggs where milkweed isn’t alone

Milkweed is key to monarch butterflies' life cycle. But adding other flowering plants may help monarchs more than milkweed alone.

U. Florida • futurity
Oct. 21, 2020 ~7 min

Gardenias show how plants became great chemists

Sequencing the gardenia genome shows how plants evolved to re-use tricks from their genetic toolbox to create new chemicals.

Charlotte Hsu-Buffalo • futurity
June 25, 2020 ~9 min

When pollen’s scarce, bees stab plants to speed up flowering

When pollen resources are low, bumblebees damage plants to help drive more flowering so they can get more, researchers have found.

Peter Rüegg-ETH Zurich • futurity
May 22, 2020 ~8 min

Spiny pollen evolved to ‘velcro’ onto bumble bees

A wild dandelion's spiny pollen has evolved to attach to traveling bumblebees, report researchers.

Eric Stann-Missouri • futurity
May 20, 2020 ~4 min

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