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  Re: [Aroid-l] Luminescence is Not Free
From: Hermine hermine at endangeredspecies.com> on 2006.09.27 at 17:09:40(14675)
At 06:13 AM 9/27/2006, you wrote:
Keep in mind that
there will be an energy penalty for any plant (or animal) that emits
light. The normal plant uses its energy to produce the necessary items
for ordinary life: structures, DNA, sugars and starches to keep the home
fires burning in lean times, flowers and seeds, etc. If you create an
organism that has to scramble around to find the resources to also
produce the cellular ingredients for luminescence, that plant will be at
an energy disadvantage compared with those that do not have this extra
burden. It is like a business environment where only one business pays
taxes. Unless luminescence conveys some reproductive advantage (and that
seems very doubtful for a plant), it will put such plants first in line
for Darwinian extinction. In fireflies, bioluminescence conveys such
reproductive advantage. Of course, human fancy provides a certain
Darwinian advantage if we go to the trouble of culturing such forms. But
in the wild? Slim chance.
well this sounds true and should provide a measure of relief for folks
who worry about the luminescent monstrosities taking over the world and
throttling the life out of the other plants. Of course the OTHER plants
could practice photosynthesis after sundown, utilizing the light of the
bioluminescent plants, and establish a symbiotic relationship. possibly
fireflies and algae could participate in the whole life cycle.

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