Every autumn, Zisis Kyrou is more often found plucking flowers in northern Greece’s purple saffron fields than in his office as a civil engineer.
For decades, experts have debated whether reducing the amount of nitrogen flowing into lakes can improve water quality in the long-term, even though blue-green algae can bind nitrogen from the air. Scientists have now shown that the amount of atmospheric nitrogen bound by blue-green algae is far too small to be used as an argument against the ecologically necessary reduction of nitrogen inputs.
Source: Science Daily
Algae isn’t just causing swimmers’ itch anymore; it’s threatening water supplies. State regulations are starting to address it.
(Image credit: Dirk VanderHart/Oregon Public Broadcasting)
Large algae blooms in lakes and rivers have become an annual warm weather headache in nearly every U.S. state, endangering water supplies and local economies. A new competition hopes to help.
(Image credit: Greg Allen/NPR)
They are ever-reliable, unshowy and, much to the chagrin of their dedicated fans, rather unfashionable. But the geranium is set for a major comeback, it seems. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have selected white Mayflower and Dusky Cranesbill geraniums, grown in the Royal Parks nursery, to join the floral displays at their wedding on Saturday. Even the gardener in charge of growing the plants, along with countless others, does not know how they will end up on display after months of hard work in London’s Hyde Park. Nursery manager Mike Jones said he does not know where floral designer Philippa Craddock will use his flowers, so will be trying to spot them as he watches the wedding on TV. “We don’t know where they’re going to be, so we’ll be eagerly looking out ourselves to see where they are,” Mr Jones said. Prince Harry and Meghan Markle engagement photograph Credit: Paul Grover for the Telegraph Asked if he felt under pressure, the 58-year-old from Leamington Spa said: “We do, because we really want it to be the best we can possibly do. It’s showcasing not only our growing of plants, but the Royal Parks in general.” It is thought the flowers – between 150 and 200 individual plants which are pollinator-friendly – will be incorporated into Ms Craddock’s displays in and around St George’s Chapel which will feature white garden roses, peonies and foxgloves. Branches of beech, birch and hornbeam will also be used in the decorations, with the locally sourced foliage coming from the gardens and parkland of The Crown Estate and Windsor Great Park. The flowers that have been chosen are particularly pollinator-friendly flowers, which means they have a good store of nectarDr Alice Laughton Mr Jones said geraniums “add a splash of colour”, adding: “They live for years so they will grow all summer, flower all summer, die down in the winter, and then come back again the following year, so very good value.” The gardener said they were ideal for “a relaxed look”. Asked if the flowers will be getting special treatment in the coming days, he said: “They’ll be getting a lot of TLC. We’ll be making sure they’re watered well, making sure they’re protected, and making sure that the flowers stay in the perfect condition for the day. “It’s only a few more days to go, so we want them to be absolutely pristine when they go.” A bumblebee hovers over Dusky Cranesbill geranium plants Credit: REUTERS Looking ahead to Saturday, Mr Jones said: “I shall be watching the wedding along with half the rest of the country I would imagine. Looking out for my plants.” Dr Alice Laughton, conservation manager at the Royal Parks, explained the importance of the flowers being pollinator-friendly, and what that might mean. “The flowers that have been chosen are particularly pollinator-friendly flowers, which means they have a good store of nectar so they provide a lot of food for pollinators that are attracted to the flowers. “So on wedding day we might see some bees, some bumblebees, hoverflies, some butterflies, all important pollinators here in the UK,” she said. The 36-year-old, from Bourn in Cambridgeshire, added: “We’re really excited. We work really hard to try and champion pollinators and support them because they’re in decline.” Royal wedding PREMIUM GRID Dr Laughton is also excited for another reason – she is getting married this Saturday too. “I like to think that all the wedding buzz is about my wedding so it’s been quite fun,” she said. Talking about the flowers at her own wedding, she said: “My parents actually have grown all my flowers, so they’ve grown native pollinator-friendly flowers as well.”
Source: Yahoo! News
Ocean scientists work to forecast huge plankton blooms in Arabian Sea
Ocean scientists work to forecast huge plankton blooms in Arabian Sea, Published online: 26 March 2018; doi:10.1038/d41586-018-03698-0
An operational forecast could help countries prepare for booms in these tiny marine creatures.
Using two different measurement methods, researchers have conducted a two-year study of North Carolina’s Jordan Lake in which they monitored toxic algal blooms. The researchers found that multiple cyanotoxins from toxic algal blooms are present year-round, albeit in very low concentrations.
Source: Science Daily