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America Pikas are found from the Sierra Nevada to the Rocky Mountains, and have been migrating to higher elevations. Jon LeVasseur / Flickr / Public Domain

By Jenny Morber

Caribbean corals sprout off Texas. Pacific salmon tour the Canadian Arctic. Peruvian lowland birds nest at higher elevations.

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At least 27 states have warned their residents not to plant any seeds they receive from mysterious, unsolicited packages that appear to have been sent from China. Washington State Department of Agriculture / Twitter

At least 27 states have warned their residents not to plant any seeds they receive from mysterious, unsolicited packages that appear to have been sent from China, The New York Times reported Sunday.

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EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Plant pathologist Carolee Bull works in her home garden in State College, Pennsylvania. Carolee Bull, CC BY-ND

By Matt Kasson, Brian Lovett and Carolee Bull

Home gardening is having a boom year across the U.S. Whether they're growing their own food in response to pandemic shortages or just looking for a diversion, numerous aspiring gardeners have constructed their first raised beds, and seeds are flying off suppliers' shelves. Now that gardens are largely planted, much of the work for the next several months revolves around keeping them healthy.

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Barcelona's Liceu Opera house played a concert for plants Monday. Jordi Vidal / Getty Images

A Barcelona opera house played its first concert since mid-March to an unusual audience: 2,292 plants.

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A large plantation of young trees is contrast against an older forest in the background. georgeclerk / Getty Images

By Lauren Waller and Warwick Allen

Large-scale reforestation projects such as New Zealand's One Billion Trees program are underway in many countries to help sequester carbon from the atmosphere.

But there is ongoing debate about whether to prioritize native or non-native plants to fight climate change. As our recent research shows, non-native plants often grow faster compared to native plants, but they also decompose faster and this helps to accelerate the release of 150% more carbon dioxide from the soil.

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A worker at a flower farm in Kiambu County, Kenya, piles up roses to be dumped on March 24, 2020. Patrick Meinhardt / AFP / Getty Images

By Peyton Fleming

Gerison Ndwiga, a small rural farmer in Kenya, felt the economic sting of COVID-19 just days after the government announced a curfew and travel restrictions in late March.

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Andrey Nikitin / iStock / Getty Images Plus

By Adrienne Santos-Longhurst

Plants are awesome. They brighten up your space and give you a living thing you can talk to when there are no humans in sight.

Turns out, having enough of the right plants can also add moisture (aka humidify) indoor air, which can have a ton of health benefits.

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Since prehistoric times, purslane has been grown by humans around the world, from Australia to the Middle East to Asia. Nik West / Getty Images

By Jared Kaufman

This Friday, May 22, marks the International Day for Biological Diversity. Every year, the United Nations uses this day as an opportunity both to celebrate the Earth's stunning biodiversity and to recognize our task to protect it.

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At first sight, it seems more CO₂ can only be beneficial to plants, but things are a lot more complex than that. sarayut Thaneerat / Getty Images

By Sebastian Leuzinger

Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change.

If you have a question you'd like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz

If carbon dioxide levels were to double, how much increase in plant growth would this cause? How much of the world's deserts would disappear due to plants' increased drought tolerance in a high carbon dioxide environment?

Compared to pre-industrial levels, the concentration of carbon dioxide (CO₂) in the atmosphere will have doubled in about 20 to 30 years, depending on how much CO₂ we emit over the coming years. More CO₂ generally leads to higher rates of photosynthesis and less water consumption in plants.

At first sight, it seems more CO₂ can only be beneficial to plants, but things are a lot more complex than that.

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Plants growing inside of a greenhouse nursery. pixinoo / Getty Images

Indoor farms can grow vegetables close to cities, where there are lots of people to feed.

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A woman gardens in an urban vegetable garden on April 17, 2020 in Annecy, France. Richard Bord / Getty Images

By Jennifer Atkinson

The coronavirus pandemic has set off a global gardening boom.

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