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Author Topic: How do melons accumulate all that water in the fruit?  (Read 2027 times)

Offline chris

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A frequent sight in some parts of the arid Australian outback are wild melon plants; they taste disgusting and are tough as old boots to break into, yet despite growing on very sandy, dry soil, they are full of water.

What mechanisms does the plant use to concentrate and retain water within the melon flesh like this?

Chris


 

Offline imatfaal

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How do melons accumulate all that water in the fruit?
« Reply #1 on: 25/02/2011 11:13:20 »
from my vast experience of deserts (I have watched most of ray mear's tv programmes) I think the dew that condenses every morning is a considerable source of water - you just need to find a way of capturing it
 

Offline chris

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How do melons accumulate all that water in the fruit?
« Reply #2 on: 25/02/2011 21:39:13 »
Thanks, but actually I was thinking more of the cellular mechanisms that can move the water into the melon and then sequester it there. How is that achieved?

C
 

Offline Geezer

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How do melons accumulate all that water in the fruit?
« Reply #3 on: 26/02/2011 07:24:09 »
It's really pretty obvious.

The hard exterior shell of the melon forms a pressure chamber of sorts. During the day, heat raises the pressure inside the chamber, and the melon allows the pressure to escape.

However, when the Sun goes down and the melon cools, it prevents air from from entering the pressure chamber, so a partial vacuum is created within it. When the melon detects sufficient humidity, it opens a valve and bam!, it sucks in all the water in its vicinity.

It's not unlike bricking a camel.
« Last Edit: 01/03/2011 19:28:36 by Geezer »
 

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How do melons accumulate all that water in the fruit?
« Reply #3 on: 26/02/2011 07:24:09 »

 

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