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 How Plants Use 'Survival of Fittest' Concept to Keep Growing 

 

SPOTLIGHT

9/23/2003

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

Cutting-edge Research --

HOW PLANTS USE ‘SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST’ CONCEPT TO KEEP GROWING

WILL BE TOPIC OF ENVIRONMENTAL DISCUSSION PROGRAM AT SLIPPERY ROCK UNIVERSITY

           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The latest, cutting-edge research on how some substances released by plant roots may inhibit or retard the growth of other plants as part of a “survival of the fittest” tactic will be the topic when Slippery Rock University’s Bailey Library hosts environmental experts Dr. Bruno Borsari, Dr. Valentine I. Kefeli and Dr. Maria V. Kalevich in a review of their new book detailing their latest findings.

           The public session titled “Land Stewardship and Management Through A Renovated Approach in Plant-Soil Studies” will be held in the library’s Special Collections Room at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 16.

Borsari, an assistant professor of parks and recreation/environmental education at SRU, and Kefeli, of Biomost, Inc., in Cranberry, and a former SRU faculty member, joined with Kalevich, assistant professor of biology at Robert Morris University, to produce the book “Natural Growth Inhibitors and Phytohormones in Plants and Environment,”  published by Kluwer Academic Publishers of Dordrecht, Boston and London.

           “How plants are related to the soil they grow in and biochemical interaction between plants are some hot new topics in environmental research. Our book examines an important aspect of how plants may be producing their own herbicides to enhance their won growth, while inhibiting the growth of other plant species,” Borsari explains. The 275-page work details how plants grow and interact with other species.

           Borsari, who served as editor for the work, explains the ideas offered could help improve management practices in modern agroecosystems. The library session will also include discussion of some of the environmental challenges faced in the western Pennsylvania bioregion. It will also address methods of restoring habitat, reclaiming strip-mined soils and look at plant-soil relationships from a more holistic perspective.

           The session is co-sponsored by SRU’s College of Health, Environment and Science as part of the library’s on-going lecture and entertainment schedule.

           SRU is among the nation’s pioneers in promoting environmental sustainability and is a national leader in offering a master of science degree in sustainable systems.

PN, PgN, WPN, PR

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