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[APD] Re: allelopathic thoughts (random)
I have seen a number of pictures of plants growing submersed in
rivers or large streams, and they are usually quite fuzzy with
attached algae. If there is some kind of evolutionary race between
plants to discourage attached algae and algae to overcome the plants'
defenses, the algae are doing pretty well. Of course, the plants
seem to be pretty large and healthy too, just fuzzy-looking. One
wonders how bad the algae has to get to cause problems for the plant.
One wonders if the plants would be doing a lot better if the algae
were not there. How close to the edge of surviving/not surviving are
the plants? Could they take a worse algae load and still survive?
These are important questions in ecology that are hard to answer. If
any species of submersed aquatic plant had an edge over other species
in discouraging attached algae, it would look 'cleaner' than others,
provided that they grew at the same distance from the surface and got
the same amount of light. I wonder if alterations in the waxy layer
of the leaf surface might discourage attachment of algae. If a plant
could shed cuticle, that would give it an edge because it could shed
the attached algae. The attachment glues of algae would be
interesting to study.
Paul Krombholz in chilly central Mississippi, going down to about 22 F tonight.
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