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New study in "Science": Climate change could
become the main driver of biodiversity decline by
mid-century. Largest modelling study of its kind

Global biodiversity has declined between 2% and 11% during the 20th  century due to land-use change alone, according to a large multi-model  study published in Science. Projections show climate change could become  the main driver of biodiversity decline by the mid-21st century. The  analysis was led by the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity  Research (iDiv) and the MLU and is the largest modelling study of its kind to date. The researchers  compared thirteen models for assessing the impact of land-use change and  climate change on four distinct biodiversity metrics, as well as on  nine ecosystem services.

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Study shows how plants influence Europe’s climate

The climate regulates plant growth and yet the climate is also influenced by plants. A study by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), which was published in the journal "Global Change Biology", has found that ecosystems can have a strong impact on Europe's climate depending on their plant mix. The researchers combined satellite data with around 50,000 vegetation records from across Europe. A good five per cent of regional climate regulation can be explained by local plant diversity. The analysis also shows that the effects depend on many other factors. Plants are able to influence the climate by reflecting sunlight, or cool their surroundings through evaporation.

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Scientists develop novel RNA- or DNA-based substances to protect plants from viruses

Individually tailored RNA or DNA-based molecules are able to reliably fight off viral infections in plants, according to a new study by the Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU), which was published in the "International Journal of Molecular Sciences". The researchers were able to fend off a common virus using the new active substances in up to 90 per cent of cases. They also developed a method for finding substances tailored specifically to the virus. The team has now patented the method.

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