buffer zones & buffer strips – what they are and why we need them

Buffer zones and buffer strips are the areas between aquatic and terrestrial zones.  The best-known buffer strips are wetlands and riparian zones.  They can consist of natural or planted vegetation and serve as a place for water and matter storage.   The two types of limitations that impact buffer zones are internal limitations and external …

what is the difference between plant resistance and plant tolerance?

Plant tolerance and plant resistance are ways that plants deal with stressors in their environment. Resistance and tolerance are plants' best defense mechanisms. At the most basic level, the difference between tolerance and resistance is related to how the plant defends itself. In the case of tolerance, the plant has strategies that helps it to …

an introduction to integrated pest management (IPM)

Integrated pest management (IPM) is a long-term pest prevention program that focuses on ecosystem-based strategies for the control of pest-related issues. This is accomplished through a combination of techniques including biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices and the use of resistant cultivars. The use of chemical pesticides is then restricted to applications only after …

the importance of annual grasses: poaceae

The family Poaceae is considered the most economically important plant family due to the fact that they produce the world’s food staples including domesticated cereal crops such as maize [corn], wheat, rice, barley, and millet.  Poaceae plants also provide forage, building materials [bamboo, thatch, straw] and fuel [ethanol].   Agricultural grasses grown for their edible …

crop wild relatives – what they are and why we need them

Nature has been doing her thing for billions of years.  It is only since about 200,000 years ago that humans entered the picture and it is only since about 15,000 years that humans have figured out agricultural production.  It is safe to say that nature may have a few tricks up her sleeves that we Homo …

the green revolution

There is no doubt about it - there are a lot of people in the world: more than 7 billion. The sheer number of humans is probably even too much for our brains to process. Still, we're all here and more people are coming joining the global population and every day. Feeding so many people …

the benefits of fire

We have all read about them…the insane, previously unseen and completely out of control fires that are ravaging parts of America’s west. The lack of water has taken its toll. Reservoirs are tapped. Rivers are running dry. Famous people are illegally hoarding water. Lakes are at all-time lows. Northern parts of states are at odds …