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Articles on Nutrients

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A helicopter drops water on a forest fire in Alaska. Michael Risinger/U.S. Army National Guard

As extreme fires transform Alaska’s boreal forest, deciduous trees put a brake on carbon loss and how fast the forest burns

A new study finds more deciduous trees like aspen are growing in after severe fires in the region, and that has some unexpected impacts.
Longleaf pines support one another through mycorrhizae – mutually beneficial relationships between certain fungi and the trees’ roots. Justin Meissen/Flickr

Plants thrive in a complex world by communicating, sharing resources and transforming their environments

We may think of plants as passive life forms, but they can cooperate, share resources, send one another warnings, and distance themselves from their communities when survival depends on it.
Weathering of rocks like these basalt formations in Idaho triggers chemical processes that remove carbon dioxide from the air. Matthew Dillon/Flickr

An effective climate change solution may lie in rocks beneath our feet

To avoid global warming on a catastrophic scale, nations need to reduce emissions and find ways to pull carbon from the air. One promising solution: spreading rock dust on farm fields.
Planting cover crops, like this red clover in Sussex County, Delaware, can help return carbon to farm fields. Michele Dorsey Walfred/Flickr

Soil carbon is a valuable resource, but all soil carbon is not created equal

Storing more carbon in soil helps slow climate change and makes croplands more productive. But there are two kinds of soil carbon that are both important, but function very differently.
Don’t shun processed or ultra-processed foods entirely. Not only do they save families time and money, many processed foods have been unfairly maligned and can be nutritious as well as economical and convenient. (Shutterstock)

In defence of ‘ultra-processed’ foods

Processed foods can be nutritious as well as economical and convenient. So let’s stop demonizing processed foods, and ease up on those who turn to them for convenience and price.

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