Research done at the University of Calgary (see www.physorg.com/print203834230.html ) has come up with some new ideas on the diversity of flowering plants – and what factors might affect the number of species in a particular lineage. It is not only what causes diversity but what has happened because of extinctions and die-offs – leaving openings. Geography is one factor and traits within a family of species is another which might encourage greater diversity – but why?
Meanwhile, another paper at Environmental Science and Technology (see www.physorg.com/print203782806.html ) explores why plants growing near Chernobyl adapted and flourished in spite of the high radiation levels in the soil – including crop plants such as soy beans and flax. Basically, they were able to just ignore the radiation – which may imply plants have already adapted to high radiation levels in the past.