Behind the paper

Why do trees abort their offspring, and what are the effects on biodiversity?

Walking around a tropical forest it is not uncommon to come across unripened fruits on the floor. Trees will often abort the development of their offspring if deemed unlikely to reach adulthood as a plant, allowing them to fall and die.

Microbial pond life in an icy desert

The McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica forms a 50m thick undulating surface of ice floating on the sea. Annual summer thawing of ice and snow causes the formation of thousands of ponds in depressions on the ice.