Poplar Tree Shows How It Copes With Stress


Scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory, Tufts University and Stony Brook University have begun to unravel the secrets of how trees stress out. Using PET scanner technology (developed for medical imaging) and some scientific know how, they were able to visualize and track "biochemical and physiological processes" — by which they mean they can watch sugar develop via photosynthesis and move throughout the system (and probably other molecules too). By having this window into plant physiology, scientists can answer how a tree responds under pressure. It also gives us a better idea how trees will respond to changes in global temperature, or pollution levels. This could greatly increase the accuracy of global climate predictions. The discovery leads to a better understanding of how trees support our ecosystem and environment. And lastly, for us Treehuggers, this technology will help us find out ways of keeping our sessile friends stress free. ::BNL Lab News [by T. McGee]