A single global model can’t predict savanna tree density as well as continent-specific models, according to research published in Science this week. Photo of a South African savanna courtesy of Dr. William Hoffmann, a co-author of the study.

One size doesn’t fit all

A general cross-continent model to predict the effects of climate change on savanna vegetation isn’t as effective as examining individual savannas by continent, according to research published in Science this week.

Savannas – grasslands dotted with trees – cover about 20 percent of the earth’s land and play a critical role in storing atmospheric carbon, says Dr. William Hoffmann, associate professor of plant and microbial biology at North Carolina State University and co-author of the study. “We wanted to find out what controls savanna vegetation – essentially the density of trees within the savanna – and whether we can use a single global model to predict what will happen to savannas if global temperatures rise,” Hoffmann said.

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men in a cornfield

Centennial website provides news, information on Extension’s 100 years

Throughout 2014 as North Carolina Cooperative Extension celebrates its 100th birthday, watch for news and learn more about the organization through Extension’s centennial website: ncce100years.ces.ncsu.edu.

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North Carolina economy 2014

YOU DECIDE: Up, down or sideways — what direction for the economy in 2014?

N.C. State University economist Mike Walden looks into his economic crystal ball to tell us what to expect in 2014.

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Dr. Amy McLean, an expert in the behavior of donkeys and mules, travelled to Mexico in October to assist the Equitarian Initiative.

College Profile: Amy McLean

CALS equine specialist Dr. Amy McLean plays a key role in an international initiative to improve the health, welfare and productivity of working equids.

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New NC State app helps sports turf managers

screenshot of NCSU sports turf app

With outdoor sports like baseball and soccer cranking up – and football on the not-so-distant horizon – the North Carolina State University Turfgrass Program has launched a new app to help the folks who maintain those athletic fields.

CALS Dean’s Enrichment Grants awardees announced

Dean Richard Linton

Developed as part of CALS’ strategic planning process, the Dean’s Enrichment Grants Program is an internal request for proposals to support people, programs and partnerships in the College.

‘Apostle for horticulture’ Bryce Lane creates student travel endowment

Bryce and Susanna Lane are joined at the signing table by their grandsons (from left), Tate, Ellis and Lane, and, behind them, daughters Meghan Newkirk and Sarah Ivy, holding granddaughters, Daphne and Paige.

During his 32-year career, Bryce Lane led students on many national field trips and competitions, as well as international excursions, where he introduced students to world horticulture practices. Creating a fund to support travel opportunities for horticulture students seemed a natural choice as his parting gift to the Department of Horticultural Science when he retired.

N.C. State University leads research into kudzu bug host preferences

Kudzu bugs on a plant.

N.C. State University Extension Specialist Dominic Reisig wants to find a way to keep growers with kudzu bug problems out of the “spray continuum.” So he and his colleagues from South Carolina and Georgia will use a $168,644 U.S. Department of Agriculture Southern Regional IPM grant to find out why kudzu bugs leave their home in kudzu patches to move to soybean fields.

Almanac Gardener begins 31st season

Almanac Gardener, a weekly horticulture program of UNC-TV, began its 31st season on April 5. The weekly show features long-time host Mike Gray and N.C. Cooperative Extension horticulture agents sharing information and tips for home gardeners.

Farm to Fork Picnic tickets now on sale

chef preparing plates

Tickets are now on sale for the annual Farm to Fork Picnic, June 8, 4-7 p.m., at the Breeze Farm in Orange County. The picnic, which pairs some of the area’s best chefs with local farmers, has been called the “the best country’s best all you can eat feast” by Bon Appetit magazine.

Economic Perspectives

Bye-Bye to Bitcoin?

Those using the cyber currency called bitcoin suffered a big shock recently: Apparently hackers were able to steal between 2 million and 3 million dollars’ worth of bitcoins. As a result, the value of a bitcoin in terms of dollars was cut in half, says host Mary Walden. She asks her husband, N.C. State University economist Mike Walden, “Is this the end of the cyber currency experiment?”

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