Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Raspberries' Year-Round Protective Light Show

Date:
March 1, 2004
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Raspberries are playing enough tricks with light to suggest they are likely doing this to hide themselves from insects and deer, as well as protect themselves against disease, ultraviolet rays, oxidation and dehydration in freezing weather, according to a soil scientist with the Agricultural Research Service.

Raspberries are playing enough tricks with light to suggest they are likely doing this to hide themselves from insects and deer, as well as protect themselves against disease, ultraviolet rays, oxidation and dehydration in freezing weather, according to a soil scientist with the Agricultural Research Service.

Related Articles


Charles M. Feldhake, at ARS' Appalachian Farming Systems Research Center in Beaver, W.Va., used a special light sphere and fiber optic probe connected to a spectroradiometer to measure light reflected by wild black raspberries and an old variety of red raspberry growing along the edge of a row of scarlet oaks. It's part of Feldhake's research in agroforestry, the science of interspersing livestock and farm crops with trees and shrubs.

Feldhake is studying raspberries as one of many possible "pick-your-own" crops for Appalachian farmers to plant at the edge of trees that might be grown for firewood, for example. He found that the fuzzy "white" undersides of raspberry leaves were highly reflective, about a third as much as a pure-white surface. In deserts, it's the upper sides of plant leaves that normally are reflective, to keep the plant from overheating.

But raspberries grow well under partially shaded, moist conditions, so the light-reflecting fuzziness on the leaves' undersides seems instead designed to hide the plant from insects that expect plant leaves to be green. It also repels water, helping prevent moisture from spreading plant diseases, as well as keeping the leaf stomata free of moisture and open for the gas exchange required for photosynthesis.

The "cane" stems of raspberries turn from green to red in the winter, offering protection against ultraviolet rays and oxidation. A white, waxy coating on the canes should help the plant blend in with snow and hide itself from deer when it is some of the only browsing food above the snow. The cane coating reflected nearly half as much light as a white surface.

ARS is the U.S. Department of Agriculture's chief scientific research agency.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Raspberries' Year-Round Protective Light Show." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 March 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229233412.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2004, March 1). Raspberries' Year-Round Protective Light Show. ScienceDaily. Retrieved December 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229233412.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Raspberries' Year-Round Protective Light Show." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/02/040229233412.htm (accessed December 20, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

Researchers Test Colombian Village With High Alzheimer's Rates

AFP (Dec. 19, 2014) In Yarumal, a village in N. Colombia, Alzheimer's has ravaged a disproportionately large number of families. A genetic "curse" that may pave the way for research on how to treat the disease that claims a new victim every four seconds. Duration: 02:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Monarch Butterflies Descend Upon Mexican Forest During Annual Migration

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 19, 2014) Millions of monarch butterflies begin to descend onto Mexico as part of their annual migration south. Rough Cut (no reporter narration) Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Birds Might Be Better Meteorologists Than Us

Newsy (Dec. 19, 2014) A new study suggests a certain type of bird was able to sense a tornado outbreak that moved through the U.S. a day before it hit. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Navy Unveils Robot Fish

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Dec. 18, 2014) The U.S. Navy unveils an underwater device that mimics the movement of a fish. Tara Cleary reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins