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Climate change and wildfires: lessons from Australia’s Blue Mountains

Periodic fires are a normal part of the lifecycle of many ecosystems, but climate change is creating mega-fires that instead of supporting biodiversity threaten to destroy it. In the aftermath of the worst fire season in Australia’s recorded history, conservationists should turn to a mix of modern science and techniques practised by indigenous peoples for 60,000 years, writes Dr John Merson of Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute, an IUCN Member organisation.

Can an ambitious breeding effort save North America’s ash trees?

Since a devastating fungal blight popped up in the Bronx Zoo in 1904 and went on to kill at least 3 billion chestnut trees, North American forests have been swept by one plague after another, including a fungus that kills elms and an aphidlike insect that kills hemlocks. No tree has come back—but Koch hopes her approach can usher in an unprecedented era of tree revival.

Crop wild relatives of the United States require urgent conservation action

The contributions of crop wild relatives (CWR) to food security depend on their conservation and accessibility for use. The United States contains a diverse native flora of CWR, including those of
important cereal, fruit, nut, oil, pulse, root and tuber, and vegetable crops, which may be threatened in their natural habitats and underrepresented in plant conservation repositories. To determine

Small herbaria contribute unique biogeographic records to county, locality, and temporal scales

With digitization and data sharing initiatives underway over the last 15 years, an important need has been prioritizing specimens to digitize. Because duplicate specimens are shared among herbaria in exchange and gift programs, we investigated the extent to which unique biogeographic data are held in small herbaria vs. these data being redundant with those held by larger institutions. We evaluated the unique specimen contributions that small herbaria make to biogeographic understanding at county, locality, and temporal scales.

Enhancing Consumer Horticulture’s Millennial Outreach: Social Media, Retail, and Public Garden Perspectives

The millennial generation, born between 1981 and 1996, is the largest demographic age group in the United States. This generation of plant enthusiasts has experienced financial setbacks; nevertheless, they collectively wield immense economic power. In 2018, this generation made one-quarter of all horticulture purchases. Consumer horticulture (CH) is challenged to develop targeted programming and outreach methods to connect with this influential and information hungry generation. 

BHS: Workplace Safety

As COVID continues to be a global concern and as many organizations are finding new normal ways to work, there is concern for workplace overexertion and fatigue. Overexertion can be a result of physical or emotional strain or pressure caused when you push yourself beyond your physical limits. We are sharing some guidance provided by the National Safety Council, to encourage you to be thoughtful in your daily workday and prevent overexertion injury and fatigue.

Using botanic gardens and arboreta to help identify urban trees for the future

Diversification of urban forests is essential to enhance their resilience to future biotic
threats as well as those posed by a changing climate. Arboreta and botanic gardens
host a wide range of plant material that can be evaluated to inform tree selection
policy. This study demonstrates that plant functional traits, such as the water potential
at leaf turgor loss, can be highly instructive when developing evidence-based
recommendations for urban environments.

BHS: Flu Season and the COVID-19 Pandemic

The Fall and Winter seasons signal many beautiful changes in the Garden landscape; from colorful leaves to Holiday Lights. Fall and Winter also signals the beginning of the flu season, which according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) peaks between December and February. This means that the COVID-19 pandemic isn’t the only public health concern as we approach the winter months.

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