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Lancaster University

Why does C4 photosynthesis rarely evolve in trees?

C4 photosynthesis is an ultra-efficient mode plant physiology that is used by our most productive food and bioenergy crops, including maize, sugarcane, and miscanthus. It has evolved independently in nearly 70 plant lineages. Despite these multiple evolutions, C4 photosynthesis is extremely rare in trees, having only been documented in a handful of tree species in […]

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Tracing environmental impacts associated with hydrocarbon production with novel geochemical techniques

With recent government green light for Lancashire fracking, concerns have arisen over the potential environmental impacts associated with drilling and shale gas production. One issue is whether fracking would introduce elevated hydrocarbon gas levels in drinking-water wells in the area of fracking. Several studies suggest that shale gas drilling leads to fugitive gas contamination in […]

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Street-scale modelling of air quality in Beijing: Explaining spatial variability and assessing human exposure

Air pollution is a major problem in many parts of the world, and is particularly acute in countries with rapidly developing economies such as China. Urban air pollution has a major impact on human health, but small-scale variability in pollutant sources makes assessment of human exposure difficult. Understanding this variability is important for quantifying the […]

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Sources, transfer and fate of microplastics in the Arctic marine environment

Contamination of the world’s oceans by plastic waste is of growing international concern. The presence of persistent microplastic particles in very remote environments like the Arctic demonstrates the far-reaching effects of pollution arising in temperate regions. Currently, the key sources of microplastics (from both outside and within the Arctic) and their subsequent behaviour and impact […]

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Mountain soil resilience to land-use and climate extremes

Can our upland landscapes provide clean drinking water, store carbon, maintain biodiversity, act as a platform for leisure activities and provide a rural economy around grazing all whilst coping with the increasing pressures of climate change? Our mountainous regions are clearly under many, sometimes conflicting, demands, and this has led to a substantial degradation in […]

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