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    Air

    Continuing with my elemental theme of recent posts, when air is mentioned then the atmosphere ought to be one of the first things to come to mind. And it is. But more than just providing essential nutrients /elements /chemicals such as oxygen (for respiration) and carbon dioxide (for photosynthesis), it also provides nitrogen (which is […] More

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    From Mighty Oaks?

    To my shame, I’m not a plant scientist, which means I might be about to ask a silly question. But maybe not, so here goes.   Every year at this time I collect oak (Quercus robur) leaves. We don’t need to go into the reasons why (I need the tannins), but it’s something I look […] More

  • Light-gathering and reflecting plant crystal aggregates
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    Light-gathering and reflecting plant crystal aggregates

    Succulent leaves of Peperomia obtusifolia (Pipereaceae) have a photosynthetic layer that contains spherical crystal aggregates surrounded by chloroplasts with large grana. Horner conducts a detailed morphological study and determines that druses in the vacuoles of palisade cells occur below the thin pit field regions in the wall interface, suggesting an interesting physical relationship that could provide […] More

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    The answer is blowin’ in the wind…

    How does a rooted-to-the-spot plant escape the attentions of would-be herbivores? Well, according to Kazuo Yamazaki in his review straightforwardly entitled ‘Gone with the wind: trembling leaves may deter herbivory’, they move, and rather rapidly, too! No, they don’t run away, but by employing rapid – though passive – movements, such as the wind-induced trembling […] More

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