Plants self-regulate their populations to maintain stability and optimize their lives, with the lengths of their lives directly related to their mass, a recent study has found. Further, a single scaling power for lifespan holds true across the entire spectrum of plants, from single-celled phototrophs to giant redwoods.
Scientists have long known that animalsâ€™ lifespans are closely scaled to the speciesâ€™ body size, with elephants living longer than mice. But while plant biologists have predicted such a connection in plants, a full study has never been performed until now. . . .
The researchers found that both population mortality rates and population birth rates of all plant species scale as the â€“Â¼ power of plant mass. In other words, the smaller a plant, the higher its mortality and birth rates, meaning the shorter its lifespan. Hence, plant lifespan scales as almost exactly the Â¼ power of plant mass.
[ read more Plants live, die according to size ]