a blog on the latest in environmental research

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Climate change, species extinctions, ecosystem processes, soils and plants… and how the science of light, gas and water can explain all of these The Edaphic Scientific Blog explores the science behind climate change, species extinctions, ecosystem processes, biodiversity, marine and terrestrial ecology, soil science, plant and animal physiology, and even the urban and built environment. […]

Finding extra-terrestrial life

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With the announcement this week of potentially 7 habitable planets orbiting a single star, the search for extra-terrestrial life is back in the headlines. Although the potential of running into little green or grey men is arguable, most scientists recognise that if life should exist anywhere then it will most likely be as microbial form. […]

Acoustic emissions & xylem cavitation

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Researchers are turning to the novel method of acoustic emissions to quantify drought stress and xylem cavitation in plants. Acoustic emissions (AE) sensors are extremely easy to install, highly robust and the results are statistically simple to analyse and interpret.   but what, exactly, are AE sensors? Acoustic emissions sensors and systems AE sensors have […]

flower transpiration

Flowers and transpiration

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Surprisingly little research has been dedicated to flower water relations. This is despite the vast amount of research on water relations at the whole-plant level, stomatal conductance at the leaf level, and even the water relations of fruits. Flowers have been largely neglected probably due to the difficulty of accurately measuring transpiration rates with a […]

How the world’s largest wetland contributes to climate change

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A scientific study has found that Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland, located in South America, contributes significantly to the global greenhouse gas budget. The study focused on the dynamics of nitrous oxide (N2O), an often overlooked yet extremely important greenhouse gas. N2O is 300 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) and also acts as […]

Plant and Soil Workshops 2016

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Edaphic Scientific has just held a series of one day workshops on water and nutrients in plants and soils. The workshops were held across Australia at the CSIRO, Macquarie University and The University of Queensland and were well attended by students, researchers and growers. The workshop consisted of a series of presentations followed by practical […]

CO2 Detector Green Building Council of Australia

Monitoring CO2 in Shopping Centres

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You have probably never noticed a CO2 (carbon dioxide) detector when you’re at the shopping centre buying new clothes or shoes. More and more CO2 detectors are being installed in shopping centres to monitor CO2 for comfort and energy savings. Recently, the CO2meter.com Wall Mounted CO2 Detector with Alarm was installed for such reasons in […]

Marine Science Conference 2016

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Edaphic Scientific attended the joint conference between the New Zealand Marine Sciences Society and Australian Marine Science Association in Wellington, New Zealand. The conference was attended by over 500 marine science researchers from Australia and New Zealand. Talks and posters covered a wide range of topics from ocean acidification to coral bleaching to marine parks […]

Zooxanthellae Photosynthesis

What do pH and photosynthesis have in common?

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Photosynthesis is the synthesis of nutrients from carbon dioxide (CO2) and water driven by sunlight. pH is a measure of hydrogen ion concentration in a solution. It might not seem so obvious at first, but there are actually certain circumstances where a change in pH can tell you something important about photosynthesis. Take Figure 1 […]

Trees and Water Cycle

What’s going on with trees and water?

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Over the last few decades, scientists have turned Earth’s water cycle on its head. We now know that the flow of water between soils, plants and the atmosphere is far more complex than traditionally thought. How scientists discovered multidirectional water flow, also known as hydraulic redistribution, was a work of patience, tenacity and ingenuity. Hydraulic […]

Soil Moisture Sensor

Why your soil moisture measurements are not accurate

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Manufacturers of soil water content sensors supply their product with an output registering volumetric water content (VWC), typically expressed as a percentage. But where does this number come from and what does it actually mean? In all likelihood, the output value from the sensor will not be equal to the actual VWC of your particular […]

CO2 Flow Meter and Detector

5 reasons why CO2 levels are controlled at night

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Author: Michael Forster, PhD.   Growers can artificially increase the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) available to plants to improve growth and yield. Scientists call it “atmospheric fertilization” and growers have known for a long time that increasing CO2 can improve plant productivity. Adding additional CO2 around plants is similar to adding additional nitrogen […]

Scientists adrift in the Pacific on a Kon-Tiki tour

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What would possess a team of scientists to drift on a primitive raft in the Pacific Ocean for over 60 days? As always, it is in the name of science – specifically anthropology and environmental science research. Known as the Kon-Tiki2 Expedition, the scientists are examining if it was possible for Polynesian and South American […]

Reverse Osmosis Diagram

Renewable energy from the mixing of wastewater streams

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Dr Fernanda Helfer, Griffith University, was the recipient of the 2016 Edaphic Scientific Research Equipment Grant. In this blog post, Dr Helfer explains her research on renewable energy and wastewater.   From 2013 to 2016, the global amount of fresh drinking water produced through seawater reverse osmosis desalination (RO) increased from 25 million m3day-1 to […]

Lassen Volcanoes

The culture of conservation in America’s national parks

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The purpose and utility of national parks is often questioned – are they places of wilderness, conservation, preservation, or economic utilitarianism such as tourism? Dr Tom Winterbottom is our guest blogger and offers his perspective on the purpose and being of America’s national parks….   Until I went, I never knew that Lassen National Park […]

Acidification CO2 Climate Change

The reality of ocean acidification experiments

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Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is not only altering climate, but it is making the oceans more acidic. This process, known as ocean acidification, is predicted to lead to massive rates of extinctions particularly of corals. Given the huge biological, ecological and economic impact of ocean acidification, a large amount of research effort has been […]

Soil Water Content Turf

5 common mistakes when measuring soil moisture

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Soil moisture, or soil volumetric water content, is easily measured with probes, sensors or handheld meters. These meters are as simple as pushing the probe or sensor into the soil, pressing read on the handheld meter, and you’re done. As simple as this appears, there are surprisingly many pitfalls and traps that can lead to wrong […]

A beetle spends its entire life living on coffee

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Many of us enjoy a cup of coffee a day, but the coffee berry borer beetle (Hypothenemus hampei) takes this to the extreme and spends its entire life cycle living on coffee beans. Caffeine is a toxin and is typically a deterrent to most insect herbivores. Somehow, the coffee berry borer overcomes this toxicity and […]

Vineyard fluorescence

Cell death in grape berries

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The quality of your wine can be affected by cell death in grape berries. The affects are two-fold: 1) cell death leads to a higher concentration of sugar and alcohol levels because of water loss; and 2) a greater contribution to flavour. Scientists at the University of Adelaide are exploring physiological causes of cell death […]

rat

What is hydrogen enriched water?

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As water is H2O it may seem counter intuitive to speak of hydrogen (H2) enriched water. There is a movement, particularly in Japan, to drink more hydrogen enriched water for health benefits. But what is hydrogen enriched water and is it actually good for you? Hydrogen enriched water simply has an extra amount of H2 […]

Could you be swimming in hydrocarbons at the beach?

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Australians love the beach but we all know there can be many dangers lurking beneath the waves. We all know about sharks and blue bottles, but what about the stuff that fuels just about all of our taxis? Or the fuel that is in that BBQ near the beach? New research is showing that there […]