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The capture and gratuitous disposal of resources by plants
Article first published online: 20 DEC 2001
Volume 15, Issue 1, pages 3–12, February 2001
How to Cite
H., T. and Sadras, V. O. (2001), The capture and gratuitous disposal of resources by plants. Functional Ecology, 15: 3–12. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2435.2001.00488.x
- Issue published online: 20 DEC 2001
- Article first published online: 20 DEC 2001
- 1Every plant will die if light, water or nutrients are withheld for long enough. It is natural to think of plants in general as having evolved a strong drive for resource acquisition as a survival mechanism. All else being equal, an individual that sequesters more material from the environment than its neighbour must be at a competitive advantage.
- 2But the resource capture imperative seems at odds with the profligacy of some characteristic developmental and metabolic processes in many plants. Here, using leaf senescence as a vantage point, we consider whether a kind of wilful inefficiency of resource use may not be essential for success as a terrestrial autotroph.