Begoña García has spent many years passionately studying a curious plant, Borderea chouardii. It is a rare species with a biogeographical origin that dates back to the Tertiary and remains confined to a few limestone cliffs in the Central Pyrenees. Unknown until the middle of the 20th century, it is considered an endangered species. But... is it?
Yew is considered a species of interest from the point of view of conservation for its small and isolated populations. An international team led by CREAF has studied the adaptive variation of their populations, a crucial knowledge to develop correct conservation measures.
A work by CSIC and CREAF scientists highlights that wild plants are more fertile and more resistant to pests than traditional crop varieties because their roots release substances that help them to capture more nutrients and fight pathogenic bacteria and fungi in the soil. If these natural properties were transferred to conventional cultivated varieties, agricultural yield could be improved and the ecological impacts of pesticides and industrial fertilizers reduced.
A study published in the journal Organisms Diversity & Evolution has shown that it is variation between populations and not, as previously thought, between sexes that determines whether Hermann’s tortoises have four or five digits on their front feet.