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Reply #1: Because sunlight is not pure white. [View All]

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Occam Bandage Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-03-09 10:19 AM
Response to Original message
1. Because sunlight is not pure white.
Edited on Fri Apr-03-09 10:20 AM by Occam Bandage
As such, plants can maximize their benefit by targeting the wavelengths that have the highest benefit-to-cost ratio.
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  -What color absorbs more light and heat, black or green? Winterblues  Apr-03-09 10:18 AM   #0 
  - Because sunlight is not pure white.  Occam Bandage   Apr-03-09 10:19 AM   #1 
  - White reflects sunlight but black absorbs it.  Winterblues   Apr-03-09 10:20 AM   #2 
     - Right. Black is the absorption of all wavelengths.  Occam Bandage   Apr-03-09 10:22 AM   #6 
        - Although I've certainly seen plants that have almost black leaves.  tridim   Apr-03-09 10:25 AM   # 
        - And poinsettia leaves turn red around xmas time, IIRC. n/t  Ian David   Apr-03-09 11:32 AM   #28 
        - but the solar spectrum peaks in the green  Bill McBlueState   Apr-03-09 10:33 AM   #13 
  - Plants don't need heat. Heat is infrared. Photosynthesis requires ultraviolet. n/t  Ian David   Apr-03-09 10:20 AM   #3 
  - Why is it then most plants quit growing under forty degrees?  Winterblues   Apr-03-09 10:21 AM   #4 
     - Not all plants. There are algaes that live in the ice.  Ian David   Apr-03-09 10:22 AM   #5 
        - Interestingly, one could observe that if chlorophyll were white then plant life could not have ..  TahitiNut   Apr-03-09 10:29 AM   #11 
        - For a recent in depth discussion of what plants might be like on other worlds under other stars  csziggy   Apr-03-09 04:48 PM   #40 
  - Most plants reflect green and absorb red yellow blue and uv  tridim   Apr-03-09 10:22 AM   #7 
  - did you forget EVRYTHING you learned in grade school!  marketcrazy1   Apr-03-09 10:23 AM   #8 
  - That does not answer the question, which is "why did plants not evolve  Occam Bandage   Apr-03-09 10:25 AM   #9 
  - Why didn't you evolve to photosynthesize?  Ian David   Apr-03-09 10:26 AM   #10 
  - Because I live in a cave.  TahitiNut   Apr-03-09 10:31 AM   #12 
  - hooray for green ray frightened cave dwellers!!  Soylent Brice   Apr-03-09 11:34 AM   #30 
  - Because high oxygen levels interfere with photosynthesis,  Occam Bandage   Apr-03-09 10:34 AM   #15 
  - Hey, no sex threads. n/t  Ian David   Apr-03-09 10:41 AM   #18 
  - Wait! Who says we don't do anything else with sunlight? It affects our moods and hormones  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 11:21 AM   #24 
  - My point is that your body expends more effort defending itself from sunlight...  Ian David   Apr-03-09 11:29 AM   #26 
     - ah, but sweating our precious bodily fluids helps rid ourselves of toxins  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 11:32 AM   #29 
        - Why are you so intent on robbing me of my precious bodily fluids?  Ian David   Apr-03-09 11:59 AM   #34 
           - I just like arguing with you. It gets my blood up  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 12:01 PM   #35 
              - Did you want the five-minute argument, or the course of ten? n/t  Ian David   Apr-03-09 12:06 PM   #36 
  - Especially true if you pour on mainstream sunscreen  kimmerspixelated   Apr-03-09 05:05 PM   #43 
  - that was not the question  marketcrazy1   Apr-03-09 10:42 AM   #20 
  - the Goldilocks effect? Blue chlorophyll reflects too much and Red too little but Green is just right  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 11:24 AM   #25 
  - See my post above about the Scientific American article  csziggy   Apr-03-09 04:53 PM   #42 
  - Because the various possible photochemical reactions are all tuned to particular wavelengths of...  Tesha   Apr-03-09 12:28 PM   #37 
  - Yes that is all well and good but why green and not black or brown?  Winterblues   Apr-03-09 10:34 AM   #14 
     - Answer here  cbc5g   Apr-03-09 10:39 AM   #17 
  - Green is a whole lot prettier than black.  Richard D   Apr-03-09 10:37 AM   #16 
  - Green - because green is my favorite color and Jesus loves me, so its green.  ThomWV   Apr-03-09 10:41 AM   #19 
  - Ramen. n/t  ColbertWatcher   Apr-03-09 04:50 PM   #41 
  - Wait a minute!  kimmerspixelated   Apr-03-09 05:07 PM   #44 
  - great question!  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 10:44 AM   #21 
  - they'd fry if they were black (maybe)  soothsayer   Apr-03-09 10:51 AM   #22 
  - Vegetation isn't green to absorb sunlight but to use it  Warpy   Apr-03-09 10:58 AM   #23 
  - you just made me think- some plants (Orchids) DO essentiall "use" the colors they reflect.  KittyWampus   Apr-03-09 11:29 AM   #27 
  - Because God Didn't Think Black Vegetation Would Look Good.....nt  global1   Apr-03-09 11:41 AM   #31 
  - The sun is green. To you it looks white because your species evolved here on earth.  hunter   Apr-03-09 11:49 AM   #32 
  - Because It Works. The Answer Just IS That Simple.  OPERATIONMINDCRIME   Apr-03-09 11:51 AM   #33 
  - Because absorbing all light would be expensive,  Igel   Apr-03-09 03:10 PM   #38 
  - I think of it this way: the plant doesn't need any more energy.  hunter   Apr-03-09 04:41 PM   #39 
  - Ah - You see the green because they REFLECT it.  NutmegYankee   Apr-03-09 05:32 PM   #45 
 

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