Researchers discover a special power in wheat

A new photosynthesis discovery at The University of Queensland may help breed faster-growing wheat crops that are better adapted to hotter, drier climates.A research team led by Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation researcher Professor Robert Henry has today published a paper in Scientific Reports, showing that photosynthesis occurs in wheat seeds as well as in plant leaves."This discovery turns half a century of plant biology on its head," Professor Henry said."Wheat covers more of the earth than any other crop, so the ramifications of this discovery could be huge. It may lead to better, faster-growing, better-yielding wheat crops in geographical areas where wheat currently cannot be grown." 

Birds on top of the world, with nowhere to go

Climate change could make much of the Arctic unsuitable for millions of migratory birds that travel north to breed each year, according to a new international study published today inGlobal Change Biology.The University of Queensland School of Biological Sciences' researcher Hannah Wauchope said that suitable breeding conditions for Arctic shorebirds could collapse by 2070."This means that countries throughout the world will have fewer migratory birds reaching their shores," Ms Wauchope said.Arctic breeding shorebirds undertake some of the longest known migratory journeys in the animal kingdom, with many travelling more than 20,000 kilometres per year to escape the northern winter.The bar-tailed godwit flies from Alaska to New Zealand in a single flight of 12,000 kilometres without landing.The study predicts that, in a warming world, migratory birds will become increasingly restricted to small islands in the Arctic Ocean as they retreat north.