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Re: interesting article

> Date: Fri, 6 Dec 2002 11:01:19 -0800 (PST)
> From:  Lori (Fiesta Cranberry)
> OK, so how does this translate to plant tanks?
> http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?
> tmpl=story2&cid=624&ncid=753&e=10&u=/ap/20021205/ap_on_sc/stunted_plants
> Lori

Hmm...perhaps I should be reading the Web postings - you beat me to this
one. (Same article, different source.)

All it's *really* pointing out is the effect of narrowing your research
focus too much: to believe that the _obvious_ effects of global warming will
be the _only_ factors affecting the outcome.

I'm assuming that in this case, the researchers' interest in climatic events
overshadowed their background knowledge in plant physiology. Especially when
you see quotes such as that in your copy of the article:

Richard J. Norby, an environmental scientist at the Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, said the Stanford study "is a surprise."

"We don't really understand the responses of the plants (in the study),"
said Norby, who is doing similar research in his lab. "I think this
challenges some of our assumptions about global climate change."

I imagine there'll be a few other things to consider as well. For instance,
as the climate warms the growing season will be extended. But the natural
duration of illumination won't be changing along with it. This may well
interfere with some of the reproductive triggers in temperate plants - those
that are in an annual race to reproduce and bear fruit as the light fades
and the temperature drops. But now the temperature might not be dropping as
rapidly, and we all know that things happen at a faster pace with warmer
temperatures. Will the plants now produce fuller, riper fruit? Or will they
"burn out" at the increased pace before fruition? Here again, the plant may
outstrip some available element - particularly phosphorus - and hit another
limitation "wall". And this would affect "wild" stock more than cultivated
stock, although there would be other things to consider with cash crops
where things like fertilization timing might be affected.

But I digress from the original question.

Wearing "blinders" is something we *all* do on occasion. Luckily, most of
*us* (in the hobby) do it from simple lack of knowledge or experience. These
poor folks (the researchers) seem to have spent a number of _years_ simply
validating the concept of nutrient limitation - something understood for
decades prior...