Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Trees in tropical peat forests release more methane through their stems than is emitted from the soil surface

Sunitha Pangala, final year PhD student at The Open University’s Centre for Earth, Planetary Space and Astronomical Research,Walton Hall, United Kingdom under the guidance and supervision of Dr. Vincent Gauci has reported that Wetlands are the largest source of methane to the atmosphere, with tropical wetlands comprising the most significant global wetland source component. In their research study, they quantify in situ methane emissions from tree stems, peatland surfaces (ponded hollows and hummocks) and root-aerating pneumatophores in a tropical forested peatland in Southeast Asia.They observed that tree stems emit substantially more methane than peat surfaces, accounting for 62–87% of total ecosystem methane flux. Tree stem flux strength was controlled by the stem diameter, wood specific density and the amount of methane dissolved in pore water.
This finding is important as previously it was thought that methane was only emitted via diffusion and bubbles at the wetland surface and also this is the first study to measure methane release from tree stems in tropical peat swamps and evaluate its importance at an ecosystem level. This research paper has been published in the January issue of New Phytologists (Volume 197, Issue 2,)

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Light Action and Camera with Plant Sciences

 (Series-1: Indian Cinema born with Botany)

Gangadhar Panday 
Actor & short filmmaker. Author runs Babul Films to spread ecological awareness. Email: gangadhar@babulfilms.in
    Botany is biotic part of the environment pertaining to plant life. Origins of Biology trace back to around 2400 years with ancient sacred texts from India, China and other cultures testifying to it. In comparison Cinema is just about 100 years old. While biology is closely linked to humans in multiple ways, films play a robust role in shaping our thinking. Films have huge potential to entertain and also to carry messages.
    I request you to do a simple exercise: try to think of films minus botany. You have not even completed the exercise but, I am sure, you have realized how important plants are. It is really hard to conceive of any film without plants or something made out of plants!
    In 1912 when Dhundiraj Govind Phalke [fondly known as Dadasaheb, the father of Indian Cinema] proposed to raise money for his first ever film venture, no one was willing to even trust that something like a motion picture was possible. He was disparate to convince people to raise capital for his film. So he made a short film on the birth of a plant. He planted a pea seed in a flower pot and took pictures at various stages over a period of a month from sprouting to a full-grown creeper. He then joined these to make a motion picture and showed it to the financers. Yes, the experimental trick worked. Potential financiers watched this short instructional film titled ‘Birth of a Pea Plant’ and were convinced and agreed to fund his first film venture Raja Harishchandra.
Still from Marathi film 'Harishchandrahi Factor 
    The subject of the very first film in India was about a seed germinating and growing into a plant! The birth of a plant on reel life has marked the birth of cinema in real life. Even though the experiment was done purely for financial reasons and using of pot, peat, pea, pod, plant as actors was coincidental, for me this wonder seems natural and symbolic of the love affair of film and plants that began in India. Now we are celebrating the centenary of Indian Cinema. 
To be continued...

Are you an artist/filmmaker having interest in plants? Or a Botanists having interest in making films on plant sciences? Do feed back in the comments section!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

3rd International Conference on Algal Biomass, Biofuels and Bioproducts

Major Areas : Emerging technologies in algal biology, biomass production, cultivation, harvesting, extraction, bioproducts, and econometrics. (For Detailed Themes Click here )

Date :16 - 19 June, 2013

Venue:  The Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel
123 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2M9

Abstract Submission Deadline – 15 February, 2013

Early Registration Deadline: 8 April, 2013

Registration Fee

Early Academic Registration US $600
Early Industrial Registration US $700
Student Registration US $295
Academic Registration US $700
Industrial Registration US $800
Conference Dinner US $80

 Important Conference Deadlines
Abstract submission deadline              15 February, 2013
Author notification deadline 25 March, 2013
Author registration deadline 8 April, 2013
Earlybird registration deadline 8 April, 2013

Supporting Journal: Algal Research

 For More Details and Updates Visit