Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Old Leaves Need To Die In Time Or They Will Bring A Plant Down

Date:
November 2, 2006
Source:
University of Chicago Press Journals
Summary:
In a study from the November issue of the American Naturalist, researchers Alex Boonman and co-workers from the Netherlands show that it is beneficial for plants growing in a dense stand to shed their oldest, lower leaves once these become shaded. By using transgenic tobacco plants that do not shed their lower leaves, they were able to show that shaded old leaves become a burden to a plant because they no longer photosynthesize but still require energy to be maintained.

In a study from the November issue of The American Naturalist, researchers Alex Boonman and co-workers from the Netherlands show that it is beneficial for plants growing in a dense stand to shed their oldest, lower leaves once these become shaded. By using transgenic tobacco plants that do not shed their lower leaves, they were able to show that shaded old leaves become a burden to a plant because they no longer photosynthesize but still require energy to be maintained.

Moreover, the nutrients in these leaves can be more usefully employed by the plant when re-allocated to new leaves at the top of the canopy, where more light is available and higher photosynthetic rates can be attained. Previously, theoretical modeling has been extensively used to investigate how plants should distribute their leaf area and nutrients to maximize their photosynthesis and fitness. However, a direct experimental test was lacking till now.

"Keeping up with the neighbors is important for plants in leaf canopies" Alex Boonman states, "because failure to project enough leaf area at the top of the canopy means that some other plant will do it, with shading and therefore diminished photosynthesis as the consequence." The transgenics, which were originally developed by Susheng Gan and Richard Amasino at the University of Wisconsin, indeed produced less leaf area in the upper canopy layer than normal plants and performed less well in competition exeriments.

Founded in 1867, The American Naturalist is one of the world's most renowned, peer-reviewed publications in ecology, evolution, and population and integrative biology research. AN emphasizes sophisticated methodologies and innovative theoretical syntheses -- all in an effort to advance the knowledge of organic evolution and other broad biological principles.

Alex Boonman, Niels P. R. Anten, Tom A. Dueck, Wilco J. R. M. Jordi, Adrie van der Werf, Laurentius A. C. J. Voesenek, and Thijs L. Pons, "Functional significance of shade-induced leaf senescence in dense canopies: an experimental test using transgenic tobacco." The American Naturalist: November 2006.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Chicago Press Journals. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Chicago Press Journals. "Old Leaves Need To Die In Time Or They Will Bring A Plant Down." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 November 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101123859.htm>.
University of Chicago Press Journals. (2006, November 2). Old Leaves Need To Die In Time Or They Will Bring A Plant Down. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101123859.htm
University of Chicago Press Journals. "Old Leaves Need To Die In Time Or They Will Bring A Plant Down." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/11/061101123859.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
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:
from the past week

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