Classroom Activity Page: One species of amoeba can transport and plant bacteria when it runs short of its normal food, bacteria in the soil. A recent study is the first proof that anything smaller than an ant can “farm,” and shows how evolution can produce alternative strategies to meet the challenges of survival.
Teeny little video cameras called minirhizotrons snapped these photos of wetland plant roots. The cameras will help scientists anticipate how the plants might respond to climate change. Minirhizotrons give scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory a technological boost by allowing them to study living roots, especially the really small ones, without harming the plants. [...]
Could soil help? One-third of soils are degraded. In fighting desertification, erosion and nutrient loss, some soil-restoring techniques solve multiple problems.
Buried charcoal stimulates microbes and plant growth, helping farmers on poor soil. Studies show that charcoal is stable for hundreds of years.
After World War II, the “green revolution” sparked an explosion in farm output in developing countries. With soaring food prices and spreading food riots, what can we learn from the green revolution?
After a strong rain, the corpses of worms strewn across the pavement are a disgusting sight – or a pathetic one, depending on your sympathy for these slithery invertebrates. But what’s the advantage of suicide? Teri Balser, an associate professor of soil and ecosystem ecology at UW-Madison, says the answer starts with the fact that [...]
Organic farming isn’t as productive as conventional, right? Maybe not. Check these results of a 22-year study of corn and soybean yields.
History shows societies collapse without soil. What can the world cando to keep our dirt clean?
Salvage logging of forests after natural disturbances is a bad idea, ecologists warn. Evidence from a forest whacked by a 1938 hurricane show how salvage logging changes the landscape.