Friday, 10 May 2013

A passion for arable weeds...

Here is our incoming President, Ian Denholm, demonstrating a passion for arable weeds nurtured by a career as an agricultural scientist at Rothamsted Research in Harpenden, Hertfordshire.

The Rothamsted site includes several long-term 'classical' experiments investigating the impact of agricultural practices on crop yields and floral diversity. The Broadbalk experiment initiated in 1843 has a section that has never been treated with herbicides and supports an abundance of scarce weeds including shepherd's needle, corn buttercup, Venus' looking-glass and most notably of all, corn cleavers in its only remaining original site in the UK.

Rothamsted is in the news again today, as contributors to a new study published in Ecology Letters which, according to the BBC's science pages, demonstrates "for the first time" that plant mycorrhizae aid in communication between plants, as when they are under attack by aphids.