Welcome to Berry Go Round #3, the blog carnival deicated to all things botanical.
The previous installment, Berry Go Round #2, is located here, at Further Thoughts. If you would like to submit an item to the next Berry Go Round, you may use this handy submission form. The Berry Go Round Home Page is here.
Let us begin right away with the Artichokes. Seeds Aside has a piece on the relationship between the artichoke and the cardoon, both known in ADL (ancient dead language) as Cynara cardunculus. The phyloge relatinship between the two, and the story of domestication for each, is very interesting. If you are doing research in this area, this post is an excellent starting point, chock full of references and thoughtful analysis.
Banksias R Us is an entry by A Snail’s Eye View. This post reminds me of South Africa, because Banksia is a member of the Proteaceae family, distributed across Southern Africa and Australia. This post discusses the pollination and flowering strategies.
As usual, Christopher Taylor of Catalogue of Organisms titillates us with taxonomic terminology in this post called Nettle, Where Is Thy Sting? As a group, the Urticaceae, are best known by the stinging species, but like bees, while the best known forms sting, the others don’t. “Members encompass all growth habits from herbs to lianas to trees, though tree species are relatively few (depending on whether or not the tropical tree genus Cecropia is included in Urticaceae or in a family of its own).”
Dutchman’s Pipe Cactus (Epiphyllum oxypetalum) is brought to you by Slice of the day. This is an epiphytic cactus found from Mexico to Brazil.
The plant the bought Pliny Courage is the Borage, described by Earth and Tree. Borago officinalis is historically important edible … but mainly as a medicinal … plant. But do not actually eat this plant unless you know what you are doing.
Moss Plants and More dazzles us with an X-rated video of Airborne Sperm Dispersal. Some liverwords, it turns out, “explosively disperse their sperms into the air!” … It has to be seen to be believed.
Now, moving along from sex to death, gravity’s rainbow asks “who’s gonna die?” in a post on Nothofagus dombeyi. This is a post on peer reviewed research examining differential mortality across this tree species under drought conditions in South America.
Another peer reviewed research blog is supplied by Guadalupe Storm-Petrel on how Tropical Tree Communities Respond to Global Environmental Change. The paper addresses “questions about shifts in plant species and changes in aboveground biomass in tropical forests by repeatedly measuring over two million trees, in ten large (16-52 hectares each) plots.”
Continuing with both the ecology and peer reviewed theme, Further Thoughts looks at Disturbance and recovery in tropical dry forests, “When people think about the destruction and degradation of tropical forests, they tend to focus on rainforests. Tropical dry forests tend to get overlooked. They aren’t as striking – no cathedral-like understorey, no mind-boggling biodiversity. But more importantly, they often just aren’t there. Over much of their potential range they have simply been erased from the landscape.” … indeed.
So there we have it. A nice, compact list of several really interesting and informative posts about plants, plant biology, taxonomy, ecology, and evolution. Enjoy!