Japan’s Shokubutsu Hana, the Pasig River Rehabilitation Commission, Vetiver Farms Philippines, and agency TBWA\SMP teamed up to create a floating billboard to soak up pollution and discourage people from throwing trash in the river. It was made using vetiver, a type of grass that can absorb toxic materials and help to reduce pollution. Spelling out “Clean River Soon,” according to the brand the installation is capable of cleaning between 2,000 and 8,000 gallons of water every day. Eh, not so sure about that one, but if the plants were selected appropriately, this is an awesome way to market a business while phytoremediating nasty water.
Earthworms detoxify pesticides in soil at significant cost.
Earthworms that make their home in contaminated soil do so at a significant cost, according to French and Danish researchers. Results of the study, Acclimation of earthworms to chemicals in anthropogenic landscapes, physiological mechanisms and soil ecological implications, found that earthworms exposed to fungicides in conventionally farmed soil were at a stark disadvantage to worms in land managed organically. Earthworms exposed to the fungicide product Opus, containing active ingredient epoxiconazole, were able to detoxify the chemical, but gained half as much weight as worms from an organic farm, where their population was also two to three times higher. Whole shebang here.
To get a read on the metric, researchers led by Joanna Joiner of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center looked to the basics of photosynthesis. Chlorophyll in plants mainly absorbs light for conversion into energy, but the cell organs also emit a small portion of that light as a florescent glow invisible to the naked eye.
Joiner’s team realized they could measure that glow from existing satellite data. Research led by Luis Guanter at the Freie Universität Berlin then used the data to estimate the photosynthesis from agriculture. More here.