Story Highlights

Title
Hind Seaweed Diversity on Calvert Island, British Columbia

Article by Katy Hind, Sandra Lindstrom, and Patrick Martone

It is estimated that we have described only 10-20% of species diversity on Earth.  In particular, floristic surveys using modern molecular techniques have revealed that we are vastly underestimating the number of seaweed species.  This finding has implications for researchers…

Haughn article Exploring cell wall structure and function with seed coat mucilage

Article by George Haughn

The primary plant cell wall of land plants is an essential cellular structure needed for support, cell-cell adhesion, signaling and interaction with both the biotic and abiotic environment. It is composed of a complex, dynamic extracellular matrix consisting of a network of carbohydrate polymers (cellulose,…

Haslam How do plants make exceptionally long lipids for their cuticles?

Article by Tegan Haslam (Kunst Lab)

The transition of plants to life on land required many adaptations for survival in an environment so radically different from the sea. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of terrestrial life is the necessity of retaining water, which makes up more than 70% of most non-woody plant parts. Plants have…

Douglas Poplar Update on plant sex: breakthrough discovery in poplars

Article by Carl Douglas

Do plants have different sexes, meaning distinct male and female individual organisms within a species? The separation of male and female sexual function into different individuals is called “dioecy” and is common in eukaryotes, occurring in 94% of animals. Yes - this occurs in plants but in contrast to animals it…

Bayly Mapping a species niche and its distribution

Article by Matthew Bayly (Angert Lab).

A current important area of research effort involves understanding how species’ geographic distributions and range limits will respond to climate change. But for most species of interest we lack basic data on how their fitness changes along climatic gradients. In many cases distribution data from…

Leaf Morphology Using leaf stomatal counts to estimate CO2 levels during the Pliocene

Article by Jin-Jin Hu (Turkington & Zhou lab)

We have been collaborating with colleagues in Yunnan Province, China to determine if stomatal frequency in Quercus guajavifolia could be used to estimate palaeo-CO2 levels. The work was spear-headed by Jin-Jin Hu and Zhe-Kun Zhou at the Key Laboratory for Plant Diversity and Biogeography…

Poplar The 'Engineering' Behind Hybrid Trees

Figure 1. Five years old Populus trichocarpa trees at Totem Field collection, UBC.

Article by Adriana Suarez-Gonzalez (Douglas lab)

If you are reading this article, then you survived your birth, acclimated to rainy and cold weather and have successfully battled a number of flu viruses. The same happens in trees, but because plants…

Meents Sorting out the Cells Sorting Centre

Article by: Miranda Meents (Lacey Samuels lab)

2015 is somewhat of an anniversary in cell biology. 350 years ago, Robert Hooke published the first description of what he called a cell. But it wasn’t until the mid-19th century that we started to look inside cells.  Then, in 1898, the Italian scientist Camillo Golgi first described, and…

Fig1_GaryOak Are Canada’s Species At Risk recovering?

Article by Bill Harrower, Jenny McCune, and Jeannette Whitton

National level endangered species laws are designed to prevent species from going extinct. Canada's endangered species law, the Species At Risk Act (or SARA), was enacted almost 13 years ago1. Associate Professor Jeannette Whitton led a group of 14 students and researchers…

harrower_et_al How would grasslands change in response to the loss of song birds and small mammals?

Article by Bill Harrower, Lauchlan Fraser and Roy Turkington

Grasslands of British Columbia's southern interior mountains provide stunning landscapes and host many of the provinces at risk species of plants and animals. Hot dry sagebrush and bunchgrass ecosystems occupy the valley bottoms and grade to the cool wet grasslands with…