Episode 82: Idaho’s Changing Climate and How Leaves Defend Themselves Against Herbivory

 

It’s been particularly cold this fall, which may have you wondering what kind of winter we’ll have this year and what our changing climate has in store for our state. Sierra (guest-hosting for Casey) shares some predictions that climate scientists have made for our region and encourages listeners to share their climate-related observations with researchers.

Idaho winters may see less snow and more rain as our climate changes

The leaves of plants are food for myriad organisms, including humans. But plants can’t afford to have all of their leaves eaten, and so they’ve evolved strategies to defend themselves. Daniel lists some of the ways leaves deter herbivores, including some new research that looks at how even the shape of a leaf can help keep it from being eaten.

The hairy leaves of this culinary sage (Salvia officinalis) help protect it from herbivory. Although, as you can see, that doesn’t stop everything!

See Also:

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This episode aired on Radio Boise in November 2019 and featured music by Toy Zoo.

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