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  • June 9, 2015
  • 06:48 PM

Vampire Plants: Sucking Life into the Community

by Melissa Chernick in Science Storiented

I would like to introduce you to the yellow rattle (Rhinanthus minor). This little plant has pretty yellow flowers that belie a dark secret: it is a vampire plant. Okay, technically, it is a hemiparasite. The yellow rattle has green, photosynthetic leaves to make its own food, but its roots latch onto those of nearby plants to steal their water and nutrients. I guess you could say that it hasn’t gone full parasite. So what’s wrong with a little leaching of material from your neighbor? Must b........ Read more »

  • November 1, 2010
  • 04:12 PM

The BIG picture: Ecological effectiveness

by DeLene Beeland in Wild Muse

In an age when endangered species are often recovered just as much by force of legislation, á la the Endangered Species Act, as they are by scientific principles, I often find myself weighing the Big Picture of ecological effectiveness against the minutae of things like genes and mere numbers. Let me explain. I’m not knocking [...]... Read more »

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