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Re: [Aroid-l] Luminescence is Not Free


At 06:13 AM 9/27/2006, you wrote:

Keep in mind that there will be an energy penalty for any plant (or animal) that emits light. The normal plant uses its energy to produce the necessary items for ordinary life: structures, DNA, sugars and starches to keep the home fires burning in lean times, flowers and seeds, etc. If you create an organism that has to scramble around to find the resources to also produce the cellular ingredients for luminescence, that plant will be at an energy disadvantage compared with those that do not have this extra burden. It is like a business environment where only one business pays taxes. Unless luminescence conveys some reproductive advantage (and that seems very doubtful for a plant), it will put such plants first in line for Darwinian extinction. In fireflies, bioluminescence conveys such reproductive advantage. Of course, human fancy provides a certain Darwinian advantage if we go to the trouble of culturing such forms. But in the wild? Slim chance.

Ted


well this sounds true and should provide a measure of relief for folks who worry about the luminescent monstrosities taking over the world and throttling the life out of the other plants. Of course the OTHER plants could practice photosynthesis after sundown, utilizing the light of the bioluminescent plants, and establish a symbiotic relationship. possibly fireflies and algae could participate in the whole life cycle.

hermine
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