Wednesday, 14 June 2017

According To All That We Know Of Nature,

specifically the way plants and trees grow using chlorophyll,

 if the ability to produce chlorophyll stops the organism dies, but not here in the in the Humboldt Redwoods State Park, California the general rule apparently doesn’t apply to the hundreds of documented “albino redwoods, some of them are almost completely white, others, known as redwood chimeras, are half green and half white, but they have one thing in common – they should be dead, and yet they are not,

 these mysterious albino redwoods have been puzzling scientists for over 100 years, their very existence is so preposterous that many of those who haven’t seen one up close question whether that are real or just a myth, 

 enter Zane Moore, a young biologist working to unravel the mechanism that allows albino trees to survive, He assures us that these elusive trees are very real, but their exact location is being kept a secret to protect them against hordes of tourists looking for unusual attractions, 

the young scientists teamed up with arborist Tom Stapleton to document the locations of the trees, in search for clues, what they found was very interesting: all of the albino trees were found on the outer reaches of Humboldt Redwoods State Park. Due to specific soil and environmental conditions, redwood trees don’t grow beyond a certain point, and it was near these edges that most of the albinos were located. After analysing the soil in these areas, Moor and Stapleton stumbled upon another interesting aspect – it contained higher levels of heavy metals, such as nickel, copper, and cadmium. And testing clippings from albino redwoods and normal ones, they found that the former had double the levels of heavy metals than the latter, on average, interestingly, these levels of heavy metals would be deadly for a normal, green redwood, but not for the “ghosts”. Heavy metals poison the pathways making chlorophyll, making it impossible for the tree to photosynthesise, but that’s not a problem for the white, chlorophyll-free branches. “It’s kind of like heavy metal poisoning, a human example would be lead poisoning,” Moore says,

the 22-year-old albino redwood expert believe that the white branches have a symbiotic relationship with the green ones, they suck up all the dangerous heavy metals, keeping the green parts healthy, and in return, the regular branches supply it with the chlorophyll needed to survive,

“It’s like an investment, that’s a good way to look at it,” Moore told VICE. “If you think about it from a plant perspective, if the plant invests a little bit of its sugars into creating this white useless structure, and that useless structure actually worked, actually allows the plant to grow quicker, then the plant would want to do that again. And year after year grow that out and that’s how you get these big albino branches.” how absolutely amazing, it overturns all we thought about plant dependence on chlorophyll, what will nature think of next?

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