Ep. 473 - Root Evolution Revisited
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
6d ago
There is no denying that roots are one of the most important organs on a plant. However, unless its an epiphyte, root activity takes place underground, largely out of site and out of mind. This has not stopped my guest today from trying to understand the origin and evolution of these amazing structures. We revisit a conversation with plant evolutionary biologist Dr. Sandy Hetherington whose work spans hundreds of millions of years of root history. Join us as we explore the early days of root evolution and learn how things like fungal symbionts and a lack of organic matter set the course for ro ..read more
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Ep. 472 - Snorkelwort & Friends are X-Treme!
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
1w ago
Any organism that ephemeral gravel puddles home must be ready to deal with extremes. That is what makes snorkelwort (Gratiola amphiantha) and its aquatic neighbors so darn cool. It's what also makes it so very rare. Join me and Anna Wyngaarden as we take a deep dive into how she is trying to solve some of the many mysteries surrounding how plants like snorkelwort, mat-forming quillwort (Isoetes tegetiformans), and black-spored quillwort (I. melanospora) eke out a living in tiny granite pools. This episode was produced in part by Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, L ..read more
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Ep. 471 - Chasing Rare Oaks
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
2w ago
Boynton/Alabama sandstone (Quercus boyntonii) and Georgia oaks (Q. georgiana) are among the rarest oaks in North America and yet we know so little about them. This paucity of knowledge can make conservation difficult, but that doesn't stop people like Patrick Thompson from trying. Join us as we discuss the multifaceted efforts aimed at keeping these trees from going extinct. This episode was produced in part by Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Ka ..read more
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Ep. 470 - Rethinking Water Lettuce
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
3w ago
Water lettuce (Pistia stratiotes) has long been maligned for its invasive tendencies. This floating aquatic aroid grows fast and responds well to poor water quality, and because of this, states like Florida spend lots of time and money on trying to eradicate it. However, a combination of fossil end recent genetic evidence suggests that we should rethink our approach to water lettuce in Florida. Join me and Dr. Jason Evans as we discuss how data tell a different story that suggests at least some lineages of water lettuce are native after all and how that can open new doors to science and restor ..read more
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Ep. 469 - Blue Butterworts & Friends
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
1M ago
The Southeast is one of North America's biodiversity hotspots. Any trip through this region will be rewarded with lots of botanical splendor if you know where to look. Join Conservation Biologist Sara Johnson and me as we reminisce about a recent botanical excursion and learn about a fraction of the botanical diversity we met along the way. This episode was produced in part by Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo, Ni ..read more
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Ep. 468 - Plants, Structure, and Habitat
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
1M ago
I have said it before, and I will say it again: plants ARE habitat. Nowhere is this fact more apparent than in the field of wildlife ecology. From food to shelter, one simply can't understand the innerworkings of nature without understanding plants. Join me and Wildlife Ecologist Dr. Chris Moorman as we look at why plants are so important to conservation efforts. This episode was produced in part by Mohsin Kazmi Photography, Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Kat ..read more
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Ep. 467 - Roots & the Struggle for Nutrients
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
1M ago
Competition for nutrients is a major driver of plant evolution, especially in nutrient-poor soils. As such, plants have evolved myriad ways of getting a "root up" on the competition. Dr. Jim Dalling joins us to discuss two recent discoveries related to two species with distinct and incredible root adaptations aimed at maximizing nutrient capture in highly competitive tropical ecosystems. This episode was produced in part by Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Kath ..read more
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Ep. 466 - Fire in the Mountains
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
1M ago
The Appalachian region may not readily seem like a fire-prone region, but parts of it certainly are. Fire can be an important tool in sustaining biodiversity, but modern understanding of its role is limited. That is why people like Dr. Don Hagan study the effects of prescribed fire in the Appalachian Mountains and beyond. Join me and Dr. Hagan as we explore fire as a tool for ecosystem restoration and find our just how much we still have to learn. This episode was produced in part by Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Wi ..read more
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Ep. 465 - Studying Ancient Wildfires
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
2M ago
Wildfires are familiar to those living on Earth today, but what about in the past? How does one go about studying ancient wildfires through deep time? Some of the answers lie in coal deposits. Join me and Dr. Ian Glasspool as we explore how he studies wildfire events dating back hundreds of millions of years and marvel at the amazing stories his data are able to tell! This episode was produced in part by Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen, Heidi, Kristin, Luke, Sea, Shannon, Thomas, Will, Jamie, Waverly, Brent, Tanner, Rick, Kazys, Dorothy, Katherine, Emily, Theo ..read more
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Ep. 463 - Digitizing an Extinct Tree
In Defense of Plants Podcast
by Matt, In Defense of Plants
2M ago
How does one breath life into an extinct tree only known from fossils? There are a lot of answers to this question, but my guest today decided to go digital. Tim Stonesifer is the Assistant Director for Media Technology at Colby College and the person responsible for creating the 3D reconstruction of Sanfordiacaulis densifolia that was discovered by Dr. Gastaldo and colleagues (Ep. 461). Join us as we explore his process and what it was like to take a dive into paleobotanical reconstructions. This episode was produced in part by Cathy, Simon, Nick, Paul, Charis, EJ, Laura, Sung, NOK, Stephen ..read more
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