Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Plants' Internal Clock Can Improve Climate Change Models

Date:
July 14, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
The ability of plants to tell the time, a mechanism common to all living beings, enables them to survive, grow and reproduce. Scientists have studied this circadian clock from a molecular viewpoint and have found an ecological implication: it makes climate change scenarios and carbon dioxide level figures more accurate.

An international team has studied plants' circadian clock from a molecular viewpoint and has found an ecological implication: it makes climate change scenarios and CO2 level figures more accurate.
Credit: Vνctor Resco de Dios / SINC

The ability of plants to tell the time, a mechanism common to all living beings, enables them to survive, grow and reproduce. An international team has studied this circadian clock from a molecular viewpoint and has found an ecological implication: it makes climate change scenarios and CO2 level figures more accurate.

Related Articles


The international team of researchers led by the University of Castilla-La-Mancha (UCLM) has compiled the research carried out to date on this topic in order to understand the implications of the so-called “circadian clock” as regards the survival and ecology of a wide range of plant species. The plants of the model species Arabidopsis thaliana, created in a laboratory environment without this ability, found it difficult to survive and reproduced less frequently.

“One hour before the sun comes out, a plant with a circadian clock already knows that it is time to wake up and all the genes associated to photosynthesis begin to activate,” Vνctor Resco de Dios, main author of the study and a researcher in the Environmental Science Department of the UCLM explained to SINC.

The study, which has been published in the latest issue of Ecology Letters, reveals the ecological implications of plants’ ability to “tell the time”. Researchers have studied the genes involved in photosynthesis and adapting to the climate.

As much as 90% of a plant’s genes are regulated by the circadian clock. “The clock coordinates when a plant should flower and also when it should germinate a seed,” Resco de Dios adds. According to the scientist, the circadian clock has a great capacity to adapt to its physical environment.

The Key to Surviving an Increase in Temperatures?

Plants take up CO2 by means of photosynthesis and can potentially mitigate climate change. However, “in studies performed by ecologists to ascertain the level of CO2 in the models, circadian regulation was not taken into account,” the researcher underlines.

The team of scientists suggests this regulation should be included in climate models based on the study of plant life in order to obtain better and more accurate results. “A normal climate change model would forecast photosynthesis to be uniform between 6am and 10am in a tropical forest if environmental conditions (light, humidity, temperature, etc) are constant. However, as plants have a circadian clock, photosynthesis is seen to increase during that time of the day”, the ecologist states.

According to the scientists, the circadian clock may well be the key for plants to survive a rise in temperatures. Plants without optimised circadian regulation will have “more difficulty to adjust to climate changes and survive the stress”. The team now encourages further research from an ecological viewpoint, as “the value of this topic has been underestimated.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Resco et al. Ecological implications of plants' ability to tell the time. Ecology Letters, 2009; 12 (6): 583 DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2009.01295.x

Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Plants' Internal Clock Can Improve Climate Change Models." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 July 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702080121.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, July 14). Plants' Internal Clock Can Improve Climate Change Models. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702080121.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Plants' Internal Clock Can Improve Climate Change Models." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/07/090702080121.htm (accessed November 23, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) — The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) — For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Birds Around the World Take Flight

Birds Around the World Take Flight

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Nov. 22, 2014) — An imperial eagle equipped with a camera spreads its wings over London. It's just one of the many birds making headlines in this week's "animal roundup". Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Could Your Genes Be The Reason You're Single?

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) — Researchers in Beijing discovered a gene called 5-HTA1, and carriers are reportedly 20 percent more likely to be single. Video provided by Newsy
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