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Author Topic: Why Aren't Plants Black ?  (Read 7343 times)

Offline neilep

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« on: 03/02/2008 20:01:09 »
Hi Plantologists, Robin Hood And His Merry Men !

D'ya like my forest ?




It's being delivered next Tuesday........I only had the choice of one colour and that was green !!

But why are plant and tree foliage green ?...Shouldn't they be black ?....... Black absorbs stuff from the sun better yes ?.......tch tch !!..seems to me that nature's made an evolutionary faux pas !!...or has it ?

I don't know.....I'm asking !!!

whajafink ?

Les Hugs et Shmishes

Neil
xxxxxxxxx

mwah mwah !!



 

Offline Karen W.

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #1 on: 03/02/2008 20:05:45 »
I thought it was the chloriphil and the light..
 

another_someone

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #2 on: 03/02/2008 21:29:16 »
Actually, I think there are other colours, particularly for marine photosynthesis, but absorption of red, and reflection of green, seems to have taken dominance on land.

For the plant to become black, it would need to absorb all the visible spectrum, and that would probably mean several different chemical pathways to deal with each wavelength (or range of wavelengths), so I imagine it considers it better to optimise over a smaller spectrum of wavelengths than to diversify and try and be less efficient over a broader spectrum.
« Last Edit: 03/02/2008 21:31:46 by another_someone »
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #3 on: 03/02/2008 23:58:29 »
I've seen black seaweed. Does that count?
 

Offline Karen W.

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #4 on: 04/02/2008 00:23:08 »
Actually, I think there are other colours, particularly for marine photosynthesis, but absorption of red, and reflection of green, seems to have taken dominance on land.

For the plant to become black, it would need to absorb all the visible spectrum, and that would probably mean several different chemical pathways to deal with each wavelength (or range of wavelengths), so I imagine it considers it better to optimise over a smaller spectrum of wavelengths than to diversify and try and be less efficient over a broader spectrum.

Do you mean the spectrums of light as in all the colors of light?
 

Offline JimBob

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #5 on: 04/02/2008 00:49:27 »
I've seen black seaweed. Does that count?

No, not if they were actually sea weeds. If they were aquatic plants then yes.

"Seaweeds are any of a large number of marine benthic algae. They are macroscopic and multicellular, in contrast with most other algae. Seaweeds are often found in the seashore biome.
 

another_someone

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #6 on: 04/02/2008 01:37:41 »
Actually, I think there are other colours, particularly for marine photosynthesis, but absorption of red, and reflection of green, seems to have taken dominance on land.

For the plant to become black, it would need to absorb all the visible spectrum, and that would probably mean several different chemical pathways to deal with each wavelength (or range of wavelengths), so I imagine it considers it better to optimise over a smaller spectrum of wavelengths than to diversify and try and be less efficient over a broader spectrum.

Do you mean the spectrums of light as in all the colors of light?

Yes, in that the spectrum refers to a range of colours rather than a single colour.
 

Offline JimBob

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #7 on: 04/02/2008 03:00:10 »
I found two that are very close to black. Black Mondo Grass and Colocasia esculenta 'Black Magic' a black taro.

The black color is due to the chlorophyll turning to the darkest purple possible and absorbing most all of the sunlight - highly efficient. Occasionally there is a purple sheen seen but the color is consider black by most horticulturists.

 
 

Offline Carol-A

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #8 on: 04/02/2008 07:56:03 »
Chlorophyll is green, it cannot turn black, or purple. It is other pigments added to the chlorophyll that give you leaves of different colours. Photosynthesis is a very complex process, and is not just a matter of absorbing as much light as possible.... it is also about what is done with that light! Too much light is already a major problem for many plants, at least some of the time.
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #9 on: 04/02/2008 08:16:37 »
I've seen black seaweed. Does that count?

No, not if they were actually sea weeds. If they were aquatic plants then yes.

"Seaweeds are any of a large number of marine benthic algae. They are macroscopic and multicellular, in contrast with most other algae. Seaweeds are often found in the seashore biome.


I'll just shut up then  :(
 

lyner

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #10 on: 07/02/2008 20:52:40 »
Most plants probably reflect the wavelengths that they don't use of photosynthesis to avoid overheating. Many forest floor plants are often darker (?)  because they don't have direct sunlight to deal with excess heating.
I know that temperature regulation is a major problem for some plants.
 

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Why Aren't Plants Black ?
« Reply #10 on: 07/02/2008 20:52:40 »

 

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