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Staying alive in the high and dry

Photo credit: Science Daily

Field experiments were conducted in a remote area near Utah’s Bear Lake where the ecosystem’s productivity is limited by both water and nitrogen availability.
Credit: Zoe Cardon

Sagebrush carrying out hydraulic lift enhances surface soil nitrogen cycling and nitrogen uptake into inflorescences

by Z. G. Cardon, J. M. Stark, P. M. Herron, J. A. Rasmussen..

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2013; – DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1311314110

The vast sagebrush landscapes of the western United States are one of the largest ecosystems in North America. Long, cold winters and hot, dry summers characterize these cold desert ecosystems and create bone-dry soils during seasonal droughts. New research published this week from MBL (Marine Biological Laboratory) senior scientist Zoe Cardon, John Stark (Utah State University), and their two former students, sheds light on how desert plants gain nutrients they desperately need — even in the driest circumstances.

See the text: Science Daily

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.