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Question: plant efficiency

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Question: plant efficiency

Postby mark_mahowald » Fri Feb 03, 2006 10:02 pm

I was looking for the most effcient plant on earth in terms of mineral consumption. I am a senior in high school with no collage experience, so answers would be better if they where easier to understand.
Thanks
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Postby monotreme101 » Sat Feb 04, 2006 12:11 am

I have thought about this same question...I thought it could be applicable to grow plants on garbage heaps (well, they would have to be slightly modified with some soil or something) to help break down the garbage faster and clear the air in the process!!

I thought of bamboo first b/c it grows VERY quickly and it's hardy. But I have no idea if that means it uses the most minerals while gowing.

A plant might use more minerals if it is really big right? So it could be the Red Wood or something...basically I am not sure but these are a few suggestions!
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Postby Dr.Stein » Sat Feb 04, 2006 3:32 pm

Legumes :)
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Postby MrMistery » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:53 pm

Do you plant that uses most or less minerals? I don't know either, but i am just curious. Why do you say legumes Dr.Stein?
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Postby Dr.Stein » Sat Feb 04, 2006 4:59 pm

I remember that is the one that my professor told me about the efficient plant 8)
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Postby 2810712 » Sat Feb 04, 2006 5:45 pm

I'm curious too...about the answer and about the meaning of the
question first...


efficiency of
mineral = mineral used [ not just absorbed]/total mineral available.
consumption

or do you mean...

efficiency of
mineral = mineral used /total mineral absorbed.
consumption

'Used' means used for osmoragulation, cytochrome/pigments formation, helping enzymes in fuction. So used is nothing but ''persitantly present in the cell.'' M I correct?


& what parameter do we choose to scale mineral usage? Just 'growth' [increase in wt. i suppose...] can only be used if we keep all other factors affecting growth same for all plants under consideration. Or concentration of the mineral...& If total mineral absorbed isn't used [ similar to water] , then where does it go???

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Postby MrMistery » Sat Feb 04, 2006 6:03 pm

I don't think growth can be used since plants have an intrinsec growth rithm. For example, with same conditions a brazilian wallnut tree will grow 20000 times the size of a blade of grass... Does it mean it uses nutrients more efficiently? No
I think it would be better to measure them by the quantity of minerals the plant needs in order to survive. And, in my opinion, there are 2 front-runners in this race:
1. Desert plants(like cacti). These plants are adapted to an extreme lack of water. So a lack of minerals is imposed.
2. Legumes. These plants live in mutualistic symbiosys with some bacteria(Ex: Rhizobium leguminosarum) that turn nitrogen from the atmosphere into usable ammonia, nitrates, nitrits etc. Nitrogen is one of the minerals required in the highest quentity by a normal plant...

Opinions, questions?!

Regards,
Andrew
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Postby 2810712 » Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:27 am

Desert plants... yeah...

We may use the % increase in wt.. BUt as we can't control or measure many factors governing growth [ inheritance , each environmental factor, tumours, infections etc.] we can't use wt. We may use average concentrations of minerals in the plant.

Which definition of efficiency do you agree with?
A plant 'needs' more means the concentration in its cells of minerals is higher. i.e. i.e. efficiency is higher. Desert plants have higher efficiency as
Andrew said. The legumes have higher nitro-mineral supply due to the symbiotic bacteria than the other compared plants. So, i'm quite doubtful here.

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Postby mark_mahowald » Mon Feb 06, 2006 6:18 am

By efficency I ment more the ability of some plants to survive in places that are so difficult in which to live, that they stand out. Since I posted this, I have read some interesting things about some mosses. They exist everywhere on earth (above sea level), they are so long lived, that we are not entirely sure how long most of them live (many tens of decades), and they are an interesting example of a symbotic relationship. Mosses are a symbotic relationship of plant and fungi. They are one of the oldest forms of life, and one of the most tenacious. I may have answered my own question, but any discussion would still be very appricated. I need some more interesting species than mosses for my project.
Thanks.
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Postby 2810712 » Mon Feb 06, 2006 5:22 pm

U seem to be senior but still i continue-

I know that insect 'eating' plants can survive in low N-containing soils. [ The insects supply those N-compounds]...
think of Diatoms, hilly and desert area plants, etc.


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