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RE: Aquatic Plants Digest V2 #1072

I just thought I'd jump in here (probably in a socially inappropriate manner, 
as my wife would say).  I'm a stickler for exacting usage of terms, so I can 
understand the issues exchanged between JOlson8590 at aol_com and Roger 
Miller from Albuquerque.  I only hope the list remains the friendly forum that
it is now.  ;-)

> <<Roger Miller quoted:
> <<Roger Miller In Albuquerque and feeling combative in preparation for the big Taekwondo
> tournament in the Denver area this weekend.>>

> JOlson8590 at aol_com replied:
> I think "combative" is the operative word here. As I am a traditionally
> trained TakKwonDo Black Belt, I avoid combat whenever possible.  Not all
> schools do this - <snip, description of schools and black belts>

Forgive me, but my wife would call this "passive-aggressive" behavior and
most certainly combatitive.  ;-)  ;-)  ;-)

For subject matter worthy of this list, I agree with JOlson that plants typically
do not exhibit reasoning or other "higher functions".  The one quote he
gave from Roger might be construed that way, but is primarily true:

> JOlson8590 at aol_com said:
> Roger's arguments come perilously close to such statements as, e.g. "roots
> seek out and crack water lines and sewers." There is no malevolent
> subterranean intelligence operating. <snip, plants don't think>

While it might be more exacting for Roger to state "roots seek out moisture", or
even better to state "relative mitotic success increases root development in those 
subterranean zones where the mixture of moisture, oxygen, and macro- and 
micro-element concentractions favor development relative to a given species", 
the result is that roots tend to grow towards water pipes because the water 
"bleeding" through the pipe favorably increases the microenvironment.  The pipes 
do crack as a result of root development, so the quote is correct.

On the issue of energy expenditure (the real issue in the conversation, I suppose),
the problem is most likely a definition of terms.  Biomass development is 
relatively more expensive (biologically speaking) when redistribution takes place
for those elements that can systemically migrate.  New development is typically
favored for scarce resources, which leaves the problem of higher decay 
maintenance on older biomass (shoots/branches/leaves/roots).  The same is
most likely true in redistribution of sugars, because the same requirements
exist for respiration as net primary production.

The plants don't "think" about it as we don't "think" about growing our own
hair (both happen in a relatively automatic chemical/biologic way), but relative 
environmental success would have to be lower in plants as a result of heavy 
systemic redistribution (I think that was Roger's initial argument).

Sorry to butt in.  Let me know if I misunderstood the issue.

charleyb at cytomation_com