Discussion ● Ann Folsness
What do floods, global food shortages and climate change have in common? The important common denominator – and something that can solve many problems if we’re smart – is botany. The researcher asks why there is no further research in this field.
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I looked out the window and saw a wall of trees along the adjacent buildings. Then I see the wooded hills around Oslo. It’s a wonderful sight. As a biologist, I know the names of the trees and see how they use their space alongside other trees, but I also see which ones are under attack from diseases and which some still bear the effects of the early summer drought.
Among those topics I’m seeing more in the research literature at the moment about how important trees are for regulating microclimates in cities. In the summer, the sun will heat the ground and buildings in cities, producing locally high temperatures. Trees mitigate this warming by bringing water from the ground to the leaves and allowing the heat to evaporate the water there. In addition, they provide shaded spots which are well experienced on hot city holidays. They can also help reduce air pollution, whether in the form of dust or gases. We get more birdsong and change aesthetic expressions in the cityscape. Trees do us a great service.
We distribute othersAs a society, trees across the country are well known: they capture carbon by photosynthesis, roots bind soil and prevent erosion, roots absorb water from the ground and reduce flood risk, foliage captures rainwater and delays runoff of streams and rivers, boughs work The leaves serve as habitats for animals such as insects and birds, and the roots provide carbohydrates for life rich in fungi, bacteria, and animals that participate in the recycling of resources in the soil.
plants in general It is the link between the energy we get from the sun and all the things we live here depend on. They use energy to obtain carbon from carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and to produce carbohydrates. Only those who can perform photosynthesis can do so in nature. When you add the weight of all the carbon atoms that make up living things on Earth, you find that plants contain 450 gigatonnes of the total 550 gigatonnes of carbon in all living things. This amounts to about 80%. Then it becomes clear that plants play a huge role in our life.
We know that we have to take care of the habitats for all the species that make up our biodiversity, and that vegetation is home to a very large part of it.
Botanists are still talking About a phenomenon called plant blindness. It’s something we think exists in society. People tend to see vegetation as a background to other things. Many do not look at the vegetation itself. If you ask a random person if there are trees at the bus stop they wait for each morning, they are not sure that they will know. And if we ask universities how many staff they have to ensure that Norway has knowledge of the research front in botany, plant ecology, plant genetics, plant evolution, physiology and environmental physiology, the answer is actually quite underwhelming. From the websites of four of Norway’s largest universities, I found that on average 14% of professors and associate professors in biology write that they work on something related to plant science.
now In addition, there are very few who have research projects within these topics, perhaps because not enough emphasis is given to grants for the green part of our living environment. Strange to see, when the main challenges we see are closely related to vegetation and vegetation. We have a long overdue global challenge in providing adequate food for all, which has recently been exacerbated by the war against Ukraine. We know we’re headed for a warmer, wetter, wilder climate. We know we rely on whatever can drive photosynthesis at full speed, in order to reduce the ongoing carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil energy sources and producing cement. We know we have to take care of the carbon in the ground in our boreal forests and swamps. We know that we have to take care of the habitats for all the species that make up our biodiversity, and that vegetation is home to a very large part of it.
You might be It’s time for us to start looking at vegetation. – We, including university leaders, the Research Council and the Ministry of Education.
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