Herself's Houseplants

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Larger plants live longer lives

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 animals’ lifespans are closely scaled to the species’ 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 –¼ 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 ¼ power of plant mass.
[ read more Plants live, die according to size ]