Everyday is Earth Day!

Image Courtesy : Steve Sack

Image Courtesy : Steve Sack


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Know : List of Plants – A

Here is the list of plants with their Common Name, Botanical Name and Pictures

This post features all plants with common names starting with ‘A’

Alder – Alnus

Alder is particularly noted for its important symbiotic relationship with Frankia alni, an actinomycete, filamentous, nitrogen-fixing bacterium. This bacterium is found in root nodules, which may be as large as a human fist, with many small lobes, and light brown in colour. The bacterium absorbs nitrogen from the air and makes it available to the tree. Alder, in turn, provides the bacterium with sugars, which it produces through photosynthesis. As a result of this mutually beneficial relationship, alder improves the fertility of the soil where it grows, and as a pioneer species, it helps provide additional nitrogen for the successional species which follow.

Varieties 


AlmondPrunus amygdalus

The almond is native to the Mediterranean climate region of the Middle East, eastward as far as the Indus. In India, it is known as badam. It was spread by humans in ancient times along the shores of the Mediterranean into northern Africa and southern Europe and more recently transported to other parts of the world, notably California, United States.


Ambrosia

This is an annual herb usually growing up to 2 meters tall, but known to reach 6 meters in rich, moist soils. The tough stems have woody bases and are branching or unbranched. This species is well known as a noxious weed, both in its native range and in areas where it is an introduced and ofteninvasive species. It is naturalized in some areas, and it is recorded as an adventive species in others. It grows in many types of disturbed habitat, such as roadsides, and in cultivated fields.


Amy root – Apocynum cannabinum

It is a poisonous plant: Apocynum means “poisonous to dogs”. All parts of the plant are poisonous and can cause cardiac arrest if ingested. The cannabinum in the scientific name and the common names Hemp Dogbane and Indian Hemp refer to its similarity to Cannabis as a fiber plant, rather than as a source of a psychoactive drug. A very strong and good quality fiber obtained from the bark is a flax substitute that does not shrink and retains its strength in water. It is used for making clothes,twine, bags, linen, paper, etc.The plant yields a latex which is a possible source of rubber.


Apple – Malus domestica

The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. About 69 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2010, and China produced almost half of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production. Turkey is third, followed by Italy, India andPoland.


Apple of Sodom – Solanum carolinense

hnettle“Horsenettle” is also written “horse nettle” or “horse-nettle”. These plants can be found growing in pastures, roadsides, railroad margins, and in disturbed areas and waste ground. They grow to about 1 m tall, but are typically shorter, existing as sub shrubs. Bumblebees pollinate the flowers of this species. Fruits are eaten by a variety of native animals, including Ring-necked pheasant, Bobwhite, Wild Turkey, and Striped skunk. Most mammals avoid eating the stems and leaves due to both the spines and toxicity of the plant


ApricotPrunus armeniaca

Although the apricot is native to a continental climate region with cold winters, it can grow in Mediterranean climates if enough cool winter weather allows a proper dormancy. A dry climate is good for fruit maturation. The tree is slightly more cold-hardy than the peach, tolerating winter temperatures as cold as −30 °C (−22 °F) or lower if healthy.


Arfaj – Rhanterium epapposum

Native to the deserts of Saudi Arabia and Kuwait where it is known locally as Arfaj . The Arfajplant consists of a complicated network of branches scattered with small thorny leaves and bright yellow flowers about 1.5 cm wide. The Arfaj flower is also the national flower of Kuwait.


Arizona sycamorePlatanus wrighitii

Sycamore is a name which is applied at various times and places to several different types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms


Arrowwood – Cornus florida


Ash – Fraxinus spp.

Ash is a hardwood and is hard, dense (within 20% of 670 kg/m³ for Fraxinus americana, and higher at 710 kg/m³ for Fraxinus excelsior), tough and verystrong but elastic, extensively used for making bows, tool handles, baseball bats, hurleys and other uses demanding high strength and resilience.

It is also often used as material for electric guitar bodies and, less commonly, for acoustic guitar bodies, known for its bright, cutting tone and sustaining quality. Some Fender Stratocasters and Telecasters are made of ash, as an alternative to the darker sounding alder. They are also used for making drum shells. Interior joinery is another common user of both European Ash and White Ash. Ash veneers are extensively used in office furniture. Ash is not used extensively outdoors due to the heartwood having a low durability to ground contact, meaning it will typically perish within five years.


Azolla – Azolla

As an additional benefit to its role as a paddy biofertilizer, Azolla spp. have been used to control mosquito larvae in rice fields. The plant grows in a thick mat on the surface of the water, making it more difficult for the larvae to reach the surface to breathe, effectively choking the larvae.

Azolla (mosquito fern, duckweed fern, fairy moss, water fern) floats on the surface of water by means of numerous, small, closely overlapping scale-like leaves, with their roots hanging in the water. They form a symbiotic relationship with the cyanobacterium Anabaena azollae, which fixes atmospheric nitrogen, giving the plant access to the essential nutrient. This has led to the plant being dubbed a “super-plant”, as it can readily colonise areas of freshwater, and grow at great speed – doubling its biomass every two to three days. The only known limiting factor on its growth is phosphorus, another essential mineral.

Earth Our Home Too : Tapirs

Tapirs (1)

A tapir is a large herbivorous mammal, similar in shape to a pig, with a short,prehensile snout. Tapirs inhabit jungle and forest regions of South America, Central America, and Southeastern Asia. The five extant species of tapirs are the Brazilian tapir, the Malayan tapir, the Baird’s tapir, the kabomani tapir, and the mountain tapir. The four species that have been evaluated (the Brazilian, Malayan, Baird’s and mountain tapir) have all been classified as endangered or vulnerable. Their closest relatives are the other odd-toed ungulates, including horses and rhinoceroses.

Tapirs (4)

Tapirs weigh from 500-700 pounds and can reach 29-42 height at shoulders. Malayan tapir is the largest and Mountain tapir is the smallest species.

Tapirs (3)

Closest relatives of tapirs are horses and rhinos.

Tapirs (21)

Tapirs have not changed much for tens of millions of years.

Tapirs (20)

Tapirs have 4 toes on their front feet and 3 toes on their back feet.

Tapirs (19)

Tapirs are herbivorous. They eat leaves and fruit twice a day.

Tapirs (18)

These animals are ecologically very important because they disperse seeds with their feces as they move from one location to another.

Tapirs (16)

Their snout is a fusion of nose and upper lip. It facilitates eating. Tapirs use it to grab leaves from the nearby branches, pick up the fruit from the ground or to find aquatic plant on the bottom of the water.

Tapirs (15)

Group of tapirs is called a “candle”.

Tapirs (14)

Tapirs communicate verbally, via high pitched sounds and non-verbally, via urine droppings. By sniffing and recognizing urine marks, tapirs can know if there are other tapirs in the area.

Tapirs (8)

They like to spend time in the water because water cools them down and helps them in removing parasites.

Tapirs (7)

Tapirs can spend few minutes under the water. They can use their snouts as snorkels if they need to hide under the water longer period of time (in the case of danger).

Tapirs (9)

Jaguars, tigers, crocodile and anacondas hunt tapirs.

Tapirs (2)

After 13 months of pregnancy, one calf will be born. As long as mother produces milk, young tapir will eat it.

Tapirs (10)

Young tapirs have specific yellow and white stripes and spots on the reddish-brown fur which provide excellent camouflage. After few months (when they lose these marks), they look like miniature version of adult animal.

Tapirs (16)

Tapirs live 25-30 years in the wild and over 30 years in captivity.

Tapirs (11)


Source and Courtesy:

Softschools.com, Wikipedia and Click on the image for respective photographer’s profile/page

Know : List of Countries using Nuclear Energy

Nuclear_power_station

Nuclear_label

Nuclear power stations operate in 31 countries. Of the thirty countries in which nuclear power plants operate, only France, Belgium, Hungary and Slovakia use them as the primary source of electricity, although many other countries have a significant nuclear power generation capacity. According to the World Nuclear Association, a nuclear power advocacy group, over 45 countries are giving “serious consideration” to introducing a nuclear power capability, with Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey,Vietnam, Belarus, and Jordan at the forefront. China, South Korea and India are pursuing ambitious expansions of their nuclear power capacities

As of June 2011, Germany and Switzerland are phasing-out nuclear power which will be replaced mostly by fossil fuels, and a smaller part renewable energy.

Rank Country Capacity (MW)
(2014)
Nuclear share of
electricity production, 2013
1 United States United States 99,081 19.4%
2 France France 63,130 73.3%
3 Japan Japan 42,388 1.7%
4 Russia Russia 23,643 17.5%
5 South Korea South Korea 20,721 27.6%
6 China China 17,978 2.1%
7 Canada Canada 13,538 16.0%
8 Ukraine Ukraine 13,107 43.6%
9 Germany Germany 12,068 15.4%
10 Sweden Sweden 9,474 42.7%
11 United Kingdom United Kingdom 9,243 18.3%
12 Spain Spain 7,121 19.7%
13 Belgium Belgium 5,927 52.1%
14 India India 5,308 3.5%
15 Taiwan Taiwan 5,032 19.1%
16 Czech Republic Czech Republic 3,884 35.9%
17 Switzerland Switzerland 3,308 36.4%
18 Finland Finland 2,752 33.3%
19 Bulgaria Bulgaria 1,906 30.7%
20 Hungary Hungary 1,889 50.7%
21 Brazil Brazil 1,884 2.8%
22 South Africa South Africa 1,860 5.7%
23 Slovakia Slovakia 1,815 51.7%
24 Argentina Argentina 1,627 4.4%
25 Mexico Mexico 1,570 4.6%
26 Romania Romania 1,300 19.8%
27 Iran Iran 915 1.5%
28 Pakistan Pakistan 690 4.4%
29 Slovenia Slovenia 688 33.6%
30 Netherlands Netherlands 482 2.8%
31 Armenia Armenia 375 29.2%
World 374,704

Courtesy & Source: “Nuclear power station” by Ichabod Paleogene, Krzysztof Kori. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

Eco Preservation : The Spotted Lake, Kliluk

Spotted Lake is a saline endorheic alkali lake located northwest of Osoyoos in the eastern Similkameen Valley of British Columbia, Canada.

Kliluk Lake (11)

Spotted Lake is richly concentrated with various minerals. It contains dense deposits of magnesium sulfate, calcium and sodium sulphates. It also contains high concentrations of eight other minerals and lower amounts of silver and titanium.

Kliluk Lake

Most of the water in the lake evaporates over the summer, revealing colorful mineral deposits. Large “spots” on the lake appear and are colored according to the mineral composition and seasonal amount of precipitation. Magnesium sulfate, which crystallizes in the summer, is a major contributor to spot color. In the summer, remaining minerals in the lake harden to form natural “walkways” around and between the spots.

Kliluk Lake (9)

Originally known to the First Nations of the Okanagan Valley as Kliluk, Spotted Lake was for centuries and remains revered as a sacred site thought to provide therapeutic waters. During World War I, the minerals of Spotted Lake were used in manufacturing ammunition.

Kliluk Lake (3)

Later, the area came under the control of the Ernest Smith Family for a term of about 40 years. In 1979, Smith attempted to create interest in a spa at the lake. The First Nations responded with an effort to buy the lake, then in October 2001, struck a deal by purchasing 22 hectares of land for a total of $720,000, and contributed about 20% of the cost. The Indian Affairs Department paid the remainder.

Kliluk Lake (7)

Today, there is a roadside sign telling visitors about the lake’s mythical healing powers. Despite a fence protecting the lake shore from the liabilities of public access, the lake can be easily seen and many visitors stop to view the site.

Kliluk Lake (10) Kliluk Lake (4) Kliluk Lake (5) Kliluk Lake (1)


Courtesy & Source : Wikipedia