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Thread: Do a tall plants make a sense?

  1. #1 Do a tall plants make a sense? 
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    A tall plant such a tree allows you to tap more sun energy per square area but in the same time
    a taller plant creates longer shadow and other plants which are in shadow could utilize much less sun`s
    energy.Does it make a sense to grow taller plants?


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  3. #2  
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    In terms of plants competing with each other it makes a lot of sense.

    For a particular species of tree it also means a much larger root system (outside tropical rainforest trees - they have very small root systems usually). It means that their flowers or fruits can be seen further away by potential pollinating or seed dispersing animals and insects.

    For those that drop seeds it means that there's a wider dispersal of replacement trees. A tree that filters sunlight and breaks the impact of wind, frost, storms and rain can enhance seedlings chances of establishing successfully when they are within the range of the protection provided.

    A large structure of trunk, branches and roots can store a lot of water and nutrients allowing larger plants to survive periods of stress longer than smaller more vulnerable plants. And if the stress is too much - say on a 45C day for a gum tree - it will happily sacrifice a whole branch without much loss to a large tree. (Not so good for any person or car or building beneath, of course.) Other trees will do the same under weight of snow or ice or when large storms come through - the branches may be broken off, but the tree continues.


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  4. #3  
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    In tropical forrest: big plant (tall & old trees) can provides food to small plant (small & tiny new trees). This is because they have a special fungi underground that connect each trees to each other. This fungi share nutrient with any tree roots that it connects, and in return the trees also provide nutrient to the fungi (so when alot of trees connect to the fungi, then they all shared their nutrient).

    Source: I read it somewhere in an introduction to Ecosystem courses, but don't know exactly where.
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stanley514 View Post
    A tall plant such a tree allows you to tap more sun energy per square area but in the same time
    a taller plant creates longer shadow and other plants which are in shadow could utilize much less sun`s
    energy.Does it make a sense to grow taller plants?
    I agree with above posts, but i think you also understood that, and thus asked this question. You are right, it's odd for plants (not looking at evolutionary competitism) that plants grew this big, as all they actually needed to to, was cover a surface like a moss, or grass.

    In big trees, much of the energy is lost, as most leaves it has (the bottom ones) will rarely catch any sunlight. I couldn't a lot of things why most plants would chose this for their height, apart for evolutionary competitism. Though look at a palm tree, at the edge of a beach. Why does it grow tall, as it would not have to usually, no competitors nearby. Well these plants have to grow above the sandstream, as their leaves will be covered with it otherwise, and also it'll need deep roots, as the surface roots will only draw in salt water, to do this you need concentrated acces point.

    This makes me think of another way why plants would grow up in heigth. Normal trees benefit from also a deeper root system, more acces to water. The difference in heigth also keeps the ground cooler, so less water will evaporate. It'll even provide a mini shower due to condensation every day..
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  6. #5  
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    I meant the sense to grow tall plants in order to obtain better harvests pers certain square area.
    For example what will give you a better harvest from 1000 square miles: to have an apple treas or even
    something as tall as sequoias and obtain harvest as falling fruits or grow wheat and cut it every year?
    Let`s asume that biological efficiency of trees and weat is the same.
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  7. #6  
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    To Stanely

    The Green Revolution, which permitted humans to increase food harvests substantially, involved the breeding of hybrid dwarf varieties of wheat and maize. Because these dwarf varieties produced as much food per plant, but devoted far less in the way of resources to growing, the overall production of food per acre was a lot greater.

    So your logic is sound. Smaller plants can produce more food, and do.
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  8. #7  
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    I was astounded when I lived in the amazon and saw guava trees with what seemed like more fruits than leaves on their branches! Small trees in the Amazon rainforest are sometimes loaded with fruit.
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  9. #8  
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    i think they grow tall to out compete other plants, get more food... typical stuff. Also, I think because they get more food, they have more energy to grow bigger. the bigger they get the more water it can get from surrounding areas...
    honestly, i dont see why they arent taller already. they have been around for a long time, and only 400 feetish or so? gimme 600/800, then we'll talk.
    although, there might be a certain limit. with more height comes more size, more size comes more cells, more cells the more energy is needed to support them... eventually there could be a limit to how big you could get because the output of energy would be enough to grow/live.
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    I think trees can't go any taller because water is too heavy; such that they must haul water up to the leaves from the root like 20 storey high! You must use water pump to do that!
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  11. #10  
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    I think, don't take me too harshly, that you are wrong, msafwan.
    My reasoning is that plants use capillary action to suck water up. once a cell has sucked it up, it is supported by that cell, then passed to the next one that is sucking from it. so, the very tops of the plant's cells are just sucking up this little bit from the last cell, being passed up in a chain of cells, rather than trying to haul up 400 pounds(or so) of water from the ground!
    What I think might be the problem here is the physical limitations of the cellulose fiber,which is what makes plants stiff. It might be that the plant gets to be so big that the lower areas of the plant get squashed, the cells die, the plant cant get food, it dies. but before this happens, the plant slowly tapers off from the limited nutrients.
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    It makes sense for the taller plant because it is "trying" to beat others. There is little consideration for others when it comes to survival. Your question of "does it make sense" seems to imply "does it make sense for someone to create such a system", which is creationism.
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    msafwan is actually correct. A tall tree has a series of vessels and tracheids, which are essentially continuous tubes, to carry water up to the leaves. The flow is carried out by three influences. Capillary action. The 'vacuum' from transpiration. And osmotic pressure. The total height these influences can raise water has been calculated, and it comes remarkably close to that of the tallest giant redwood.
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    Thank you skeptic, for providing facts and sound information. This guys leaving this thread for a spell. Peace!
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  15. #14  
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    This may shed some light on the subject.
    The Water Cycle: Transpiration, from USGS Water-Science School
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    So maybe to get taller, there should be some sort of pump cycle. The vessels expand and contract in a cycle to hoist it up, kind of like a simplified heart. Although that might require more energy.
    Maybe to increase the energy efficiency, the plant could have more chlorophyll, with the other structures of the cell hiding behind it. For water use, to keep it from escaping too much, it could absorb co2 at night and close up stomata in the day, so that the water doesnt escape in large amounts.
    Or, you could absorb co2 in something apart from the main leaf structure, possibly a spiny filament, so it is not letting water out when gathering food.
    To strengthen the plant for a large weight, it could use calcium to make a bone like structure.
    So maybe if it were like that, it could probably get to immense sizes thousands of feet tall.
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  17. #16  
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigratlover View Post
    So maybe to get taller, there should be some sort of pump cycle. The vessels expand and contract in a cycle to hoist it up, kind of like a simplified heart. Although that might require more energy.
    Maybe to increase the energy efficiency, the plant could have more chlorophyll, with the other structures of the cell hiding behind it. For water use, to keep it from escaping too much, it could absorb co2 at night and close up stomata in the day, so that the water doesnt escape in large amounts.
    Or, you could absorb co2 in something apart from the main leaf structure, possibly a spiny filament, so it is not letting water out when gathering food.
    To strengthen the plant for a large weight, it could use calcium to make a bone like structure.
    So maybe if it were like that, it could probably get to immense sizes thousands of feet tall.
    Actually there are other factors than the ones you mentioned. Nature always strives for maximum efficiency and if excess height does not
    offer an evolutionary advantage, a tree species will remain at its maximum effective height.
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  18. #17  
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    Totally agree )
    When you are able to differentiate between the logic of dancing and that of shaking...You may know the logic and secrets of so much beauty every corner... ~By Me
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  19. #18  
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    true. im saying that if needed, when they all need to compete against each other, introducing new things would help it in theory.
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