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Plants and Fungi

From majestic 300-foot redwoods to the luscious black witch’s butter mushroom, the San Francisco Bay Area is alive with plants and fungi. Yet many of these rooted natives are threatened by the twin forces of development and invasive species, making their survival particularly critical for the food web.

Why Did I Hear Popcorn Sounds In the Recent Extreme Heat Wave?

September 26, 2017 by Trent Pearce

When temperatures crank up, an unusual ecological adaptation begins to play out among our native Monterey pine. We explain why in our latest installment of our reader-funded Ask The Naturalist column.

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Western Sycamores Speak of an Older California

September 25, 2017 by Sylvia V. Linsteadt

In Livermore, a writer walks leisurely among the sycamore alluvial woodland.

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Why Fall Feels Different in the Bay Area: It’s the Smell of Change

September 25, 2017 by Alissa Greenberg

Why does fall excite so many sensory memories? Olfactory scientists explain.

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California Scientists Release a Fly to Control a Landscape-Suffocating Invasive Ivy

September 25, 2017 by Alison Hawkes

A landscape engulfed in Cape ivy is difficult to take in. Scientists are turning to the plant's natural enemy: a small South African fly.

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Mount Tam’s First Botanist: Alice Eastwood and the Plants of Tamalpais

September 25, 2017 by John Hart

Alice Eastwood made her reputation and found botanical immortality on Mount Tam.

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The “Ivory-Billed Woodpecker of Rare Wildflowers” is Now An Unlikely Symbol of Success in an Era of Extinction

June 28, 2017 by David Rains Wallace

The Mount Diablo Buckwheat disappeared in the 1930s. It was thought to be extinct. A single population was rediscovered in 2005. And then last year botanists found a new population numbering in the millions. How has this rarest of rare plants survived?

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Two Almost Identical Lupines Live in the Same Place. One is Rare, One Not. Why?

June 28, 2017 by Alexander Fox

A new journal article tries to answer an ecological mystery at Point Reyes.

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What Leads to Great Wildflowers? The Formula’s Not Always So Easy.

March 28, 2017 by David Loeb

A lot of rain isn't always the magic formula for flowers.

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As Rainy Winter Spreads Sudden Oak Death Pathogen, a Scientist Races to Build Resistance

March 28, 2017 by Alison Hawkes

A Berkeley researcher studies trees that survive what for most is a death sentence

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Letter to the Editor: Protecting Diversity Is the Opposite of Xenophobia

February 23, 2017 by Doug Johnson

Some non-native species are okay. But not all of them.

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