LettersIngenuity: Nextgen's Vision

Nurturing connections to the environment

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Science  23 Nov 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6417, pp. 886-888
DOI: 10.1126/science.aav9402

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  • Turning foe into friend for the environment
    • Xiong Li, Research Assistant, Kunming Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences

    The letter “Nurturing connections to the environment” (23 Nov 2018, pp. 886–888) underscores the value of our natural environment. Scientists gave various suggestions to promote people’s awareness of the environment. Given that people care more, the environment can be well protected in the future. Nevertheless, the remediation of destroyed environments is equally important but greatly depends on scientific methods. Here we discuss a perspective serving environmental remediation.
    Phytoremediation technique is a next green movement for environmental cleanup (1). Seeking plant resources is essential for phytoremediation and requires unceasing efforts (2), since these discovered candidates still have some issues, such as conflict between contaminant uptake and plant growth, adaptability to environments, and resistance to pathogens (2). Interestingly, some traits of the invasive plants seemingly make up for these challenges. Primarily, many invasive plants have both high growth rates and strong contaminant accumulation capacities (3, 4). Moreover, some invasive plants can overcome seasonal or regional climate differences because they have rapidly expanded across environmental gradients (5). In addition, alien plants are less likely to compromise with pathogens or transfer contaminants into the food chain because of enemy release (6).
    China goes ahead at screening alien plants for phytoremediation, where over half of the 239 invasive plants (7) have been tested for p...

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    Competing Interests: None declared.

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