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Author Topic: Do plants occasionally die a natural death?  (Read 7590 times)

Offline Karsten

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« on: 12/10/2009 01:24:29 »
And if yes, what do they finally die off? At what age do some plants die naturally? What are the oldest? How do we know?


 

Offline Bored chemist

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #1 on: 12/10/2009 07:12:11 »
Lots of plants die off each winter. Lots die because they are eaten by herbivores. Both of thse look perfectly natural to me.
 

Offline Karsten

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #2 on: 12/10/2009 12:48:41 »
Natural as in old age, not by being eaten, starving to death, or freezing to death. Whatever "natural" is when you talk about natural death of humans. Whatever that is as well. How about just "old age"?

I don't want to discuss "natural" again. My mistake. since the causes you mentioned are quite natural. Let's just call it "old age".
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #3 on: 12/10/2009 20:33:39 »
I'm fairly sure that annuals die off "automatically" but, as far as I can see, at least some trees are potentially "imortal".
 

Offline Don_1

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #4 on: 13/10/2009 10:00:17 »
There are also clonal trees. With these, although the top growth may be comparatively young, the root system can be ancient.

'Old Tjikko' is a Norway Spruce with top growth of around 600 yrs, but its root system has been estimated at around 9550 yrs.

'Pando', a Quaking Aspen, in Utah, has been estimated as being between 80,000 and 1,000,000 yrs old.
 

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #5 on: 13/10/2009 10:24:58 »
I think 'old age' in the plant kingdom is relative. As BC wrote, annuals die off at the end of their season.

This year, due to the mild autumn, we have annuals (Petunia, Verbena, Begonia) which are still in full flower. At 8 months, these are old for their species.
 

Offline Karsten

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #6 on: 08/11/2009 23:50:11 »
There are also clonal trees. With these, although the top growth may be comparatively young, the root system can be ancient.

'Old Tjikko' is a Norway Spruce with top growth of around 600 yrs, but its root system has been estimated at around 9550 yrs.

'Pando', a Quaking Aspen, in Utah, has been estimated as being between 80,000 and 1,000,000 yrs old.

Extremely impressive!
 

Offline Nizzle

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Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #7 on: 12/11/2009 07:22:43 »
Non-annual plants can die of 'old age' as well.

From my carnivorous plant hobby, I've learned that the Dionaea muscipula (Venus' Flytrap) has an average lifespan of about 30 years.

What triggers the degeneration of the whole plant is poorly understood though.
 

Offline chris

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Re: Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #8 on: 16/03/2014 11:30:26 »
With the exception of annuals, plants do not appear to die of old age. The oldest living organisms on Earth are plants and foremost among them is the Lomatia tasmanica (King's Lomatia) from southwestern Tasmania, Australia, which, scientists estimate, is at least 43,000, and possibly 135,000, years old. This plant clones itself by asexual reproduction. being triploid it cannot reproduce sexually, so the organism can only survive by the original tissue producing more plants. The age estimate is based on carbon dating of "fossil" samples found in the vicinity of the surviving plants, which bear an otherwise impossibly close resemblance to each other. There are also surviving pines that are at least 5000 years old, and recently scientists described a Juropa oak in California that is at least 13,000 years old...
 

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Re: Do plants occasionally die a natural death?
« Reply #8 on: 16/03/2014 11:30:26 »

 

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