When we think of organisms actively searching for resources (foraging) we generally think of things like wolves stalking elk or butterflies finding flowers. Why dont we also think about plants growing roots through the soil? Although they cannot run or fly, plants forage too, for soil nutrients by growing more roots in response to locally high nutrient levels.
One of the most widely accepted explanations of why plants differ in their ability to place roots selectively in patches is known as the "scale-precision tradeoff" theory. Underlying the theory is the idea that large, dominant plants forage over large distances ("foraging scale") but are unable to place their roots precisely ("foraging precision"), while small, subordinate plants are able to coexist with the dominants, in part, because they exhibit greater foraging precision.
In an article in the August 2005 issue of The American Naturalist, Steven Kembel and James Cahill test the validity of this foraging trade-off theory using a data set of more than 100 species, compiled from previously published studies. Consistent with other studies, they found that species vary greatly in the precision with which they forage, with grasses generally less precise foragers than broad-leafed plants. However, the ability to forage precisely in response to nutrient patches is completely unrelated to plant size. Surprisingly, most species grew bigger when soil resources were patchy instead of evenly distributed, regardless of whether they were precise foragers or not. This research opens up new avenues of inquiry about the ecological significance of plant foraging strategies.
Carrie Olivia Adams | EurekAlert!
Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
21.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt
Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
21.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics
Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...
The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...
A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.
The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...
Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.
Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...
A team of scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg investigated optically-induced superconductivity in the alkali-doped fulleride K3C60under high external pressures. This study allowed, on one hand, to uniquely assess the nature of the transient state as a superconducting phase. In addition, it unveiled the possibility to induce superconductivity in K3C60 at temperatures far above the -170 degrees Celsius hypothesized previously, and rather all the way to room temperature. The paper by Cantaluppi et al has been published in Nature Physics.
Unlike ordinary metals, superconductors have the unique capability of transporting electrical currents without any loss. Nowadays, their technological...
02.05.2018 | Event News
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
18.05.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
18.05.2018 | Information Technology
18.05.2018 | Information Technology