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Articles by Michael Witty
Total Records ( 3 ) for Michael Witty
  Michael Witty
  The purpose of this study is to review carbon sequestration by coccolithophores and consider it as a controllable technology. Recent research suggesting runaway global warming has inspired some scientists to propose methods to intervene in global geochemical processes and prevent future catastrophes. These include schemes to sequester carbon dioxide under oceans, use of orbiting mirrors to reflect energy into space before it can heat the atmosphere or seeding the atmosphere with sulfur compounds which precipitate clouds and reflect radiant energy. However, diverse scientific literature shows there is no agreement on the best methods to attempt and very little empirical experimentation to suggest which are practical. Additionally, there are some unexpected consequences suggested by critics which show many proposals for global geochemical engineering are fraught with danger and that they effectively replace one problem with another, rather than improve matters. However, geochemical systems are in stable equilibrium with each other and for that reason doing nothing may be the best tactic for global geochemical engineering. Geologic history has shown that natural processes give negative feedback to perturbations in the atmosphere, attenuating runaway global warming without human intervention and the White Cliffs of Dover are a great example of this. Control of calcite formation from coccoliths is a complex problem beyond our present technology.
  Michael Witty
  Turion formation is poorly studied in all of the Wolffia species and only narrow studies have been done. In this study details of Wolffia columbiana ecology and physiology are related to anatomy and histochemistry. We used a combination of histochemistry and a new method of pressing tissue into one focal plane to reveal anatomical features that are not visible using conventional methods. Previously unknown organs, wax coated substomatal cavities, are described which play a crucial role in Wolffia ecology. Tank experiments were used to determine the behavior of Wolffia columbiana plants in response to light and dark conditions. A physiological mechanism for transition between an invasive floating population and dormant benthic population using oxygen floatation is described, which involves Wolffia columbiana behaving like a small bathyscaphe. This mechanism is combined with accumulation of large stores of starch and is an adaptation to colonization and overwintering.
  Michael Witty
  After research which identified waxy cuticular pits as organs of floatation in Watermeal (Wolffia columbiana), this study examined the use of detergents for control by disruption of floatation. In addition to disruption of floatation, treatment with the detergent Tween 20 dramatically increased the infection of plants by natural fungi. Most Wolffia plants grown under conditions similar to natural conditions formed clumps, sank and died within 5 days when exposed to 0.1% Tween 20 by a combined mechanism of chemical and biological control. This study describes a method for control of Watermeal which depends on enabling natural fungi to opportunistically attack these plants, once their floatation is disrupted by low concentrations of relatively non-toxic detergents. This method may be developed to use low toxicity detergents as a method of control for floating nuisance plants in urban environments.
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