News From the Field
Smoke Signals: How Burning Plants Tell Seeds to Rise From the Ashes
April 29, 2013
In the spring following a forest fire, trees that survived the blaze explode in new growth and plants sprout in abundance from the scorched earth. For centuries, it was a mystery how seeds, some long dormant in the soil, knew to push through the ashes to regenerate the burned forest. Scientists at the Salk Institute and the University of California, San Diego, report the results of a study that answers this fundamental "circle of life" question in plant ecology.
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