“The Colors of Fall: Are Autumn Reds and Golds Passing Us By?”

The rich colors of the autumn leaves in this photograph (taken on campus) reminded me of an article by the National Science Foundation Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network series: “The Colors of Fall: Are Autumn Reds and Golds Passing Us By?”

Several changes are afoot. Chestnut blight (a plant disease) has wiped out the majestic chestnut trees, which used to blanket forests with bright yellows and golds in the autumn. Hemlocks are threatened by the woolly adelgid, an invasive insect.  Drought and land use are also changing the forest landscape, exacerbated by a changing climate. 

There really isn’t any good news here, but it’s important.  These crises (plural) need our attention > Read full NSF article

Here’s a related article about current genetics and breeding research on chestnuts > APSnet article


Spring 2014: Molds, Mushroom and Mankind (PLNTPTH 2000) General Education course for non-science majors, Natural Science > Biological Science, w/o lab > More info


Turkey Tail, the Fungus

Turkey tail fungusTrametes versicolor.  It’s better known by its common name, turkey tail.  Looking at the colors and pattern of the fruiting bodies, it’s easy to see the resemblance, making it the perfect way to say “Happy Thanksgiving” from Plant Pathology.

Turkey tails are found in Ohio, and throughout North America, on logs and wood (they are important decomposers > More info).  This fungus is also a bit famous for its anti-cancer properties. An internet search for “turkey tail funugs” will return several articles in this regard.

These mushrooms can even be made into jewelry > Yes look here

Intrigued? The Department of Plant Pathology offers several courses that cover fungi.  In Spring 2014, Molds, Mushrooms and Mankind (PLNTPTH 2000) is a general education course for non-science majors (natural science – biological science w/o lab) > Read more