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Latest and Breaking Agriculture News

Increasingly severe disturbances weaken world's temperate forests
(USDA Forest Service - Pacific Southwest Research Station) Longer, more severe, and hotter droughts and a myriad of other threats, including diseases and more extensive and severe wildfires, are threatening to transform some of the world's temperate forests, a new study published in Science has found. Without informed management, some forests could convert to shrublands or grasslands within the coming decades.

Philistines introduced sycamore, cumin and opium poppy into Israel during the Iron Age
(Bar-Ilan University) A new study published in Scientific Reports describes the bio-archaeological remains of the Philistine culture in Israel during the Iron Age (12th century to 7th century BCE). The results of this research indicate that the ca. 600 year presence of the Philistine culture had a major and long-term impact on local floral biodiversity.

Beyond royal jelly: Study identifies plant chemical that determines a honey bee's caste
(University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign) A closer look at how honey bee colonies determine which larvae will serve as workers and which will become queens reveals that a plant chemical, p-coumaric acid, plays a key role in the bees' developmental fate.

To track winter flounder, UNH researchers look to ear bones
(University of New Hampshire) Researchers at the University of New Hampshire are turning to an unusual source -- otoliths, the inner ear bones of fish -- to identify the nursery grounds of winter flounder, the protected estuaries where the potato chip-sized juveniles grow to adolescence. The research, recently published in the journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society, could aid the effort to restore plummeting winter flounder populations along the East Coast of the US.

Humus depletion induced by climate change?
(Technical University of Munich (TUM)) The yields of many important crops in Europe have been stagnating since the 1990s. As a result, the input of organic matter into the soil -- the crucial source for humus formation -- is decreasing. Scientists from the Technical University Munich suspect that the humus stocks of arable soils are declining due to the influence of climate change. Humus, however, is a key factor for soil functionality, which is why this development poses a threat to agricultural production -- and, moreover, in a worldwide context.

Study shows plant species' genetic responses to climate change
(University of Liverpool) A study by the University of Liverpool has found that the genetic diversity of wild plant species could be altered rapidly by anthropogenic climate change.

Getting a picture of the molecules in a cell in just minutes
(RIKEN) Thanks to seven years of work done at the RIKEN Quantitative Biology Center and Hiroshima University, scientists can take a peek into a single plant cell and -- within minutes -- get a view of the small molecules, including metabolites, hormones, nutrients and lipids, inside it.

Fishermen discards could increase prevalence of turtle disease in Turks and Caicos
(University of Exeter) The team surveyed cases of green turtle fibropapillomatosis disease, which creates unsightly pink tumors on the turtles' flesh. Although benign, they can impede turtles' vision and movement, as well as feeding, swimming and organ function. The virus is not thought to be dangerous to humans. Over two years, around 13 percent of green turtles found in waters had the disease. In contrast, fishermen did not land any diseased turtles during this period, even though they were fishing in areas where diseased animals were prevalent.

Data backs limits on deep-sea fishing by depth
(Cell Press) Researchers reporting in the Cell Press journal Current Biology on Aug. 27 have evidence in support of a clearly defined depth limit for deep-sea fishing in Europe. The findings come just as the European Union considers controversial new legislation to manage deep-sea fisheries, including a ban on trawling below 600 meters.

Family farm managers earn less, but gain 'emotional' wealth
(Cornell University) After hours harvesting forage, managing livestock and milking cows, new Cornell University agricultural economic research shows family members who work on the family dairy farm make $22,000 less annually than comparable hired managers, but are handsomely compensated with 'socioemotional' wealth.

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