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Old 11-09-2006, 07:16 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Plantbrain
Plants are not "growing" in the dark.
What you observe is not a net increase in dry weigh carbon, that is definded as growth or O2 production is another measure of growth in aquatic systerms, plants do not produce O2 at night/in the dark.

Cells can increase in length, but not gain any new biomass.
Plant cells are after all, mostly water.

Tom Barr
Correct. When they are using their stored sugars for "growth", since no biophysical conversion is 100% efficient they can only LOSE biomass during non-lighted periods. What appears to be growth is in fact elongation of the plant from a strictly biomass measurement, but I would argue this IS true growth in the sense that a plant with a large storage of sugar is less able to affect its surroundings, than one with low sugar stores but elongation/propogation of new leaves/roots since its photosynthetic capacity is greater than the smaller sugar rich plant.

It's suceptibility towards disease/starvation/parasites, however, would probably also increase (trend) with a decrease in stored sugar.

And no I would agree with Tom et al. that plants should not be manipulated through long periods without light for growth. It is a "defense" mechanism in an attempt to get more light/nutrients and so probably stresses the plant more than a normal lighting period would. The only exception I see to this would be in an instance where a plant is creeping horizontally that you want to grow vertical. An extended dark period will normally result in the plant "growing" quickly toward the surface in an attempt to get light. Most times, however, we never want this, we are normally trying to get the plant to grow horizontally across the substrate.

Main (20g) - A throng of guppy and platy, Pressurized CO2, Ferts, All Live Plants (Very old pic, new one forthcoming)
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Old 11-09-2006, 10:32 AM   #12
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Let me make it clear. I had no intention of achieving elongation or "growth" by means of unnatural conditions. i had presumed that the plants would remain dormant/unaltered during the dark period i was subjecting them too. but that didn't turn out to be the case.

Tom, i guess in layman's terms,growth in defined by the increase in visible surface area of the plant, not the stored carbon content. that's why i misunderstood the phenomenon as growth.
what is puzzling me is the reason behind this cell-elongation and apparent growth. if the plant is not getting light, how does increasing the leaf surface help? there is no driving force to carry out photosynthesis.
is it in just plain anticipation and good faith that i'd turn on the lights some time?

Purrbox, 7Enigma - thank you for your input. please don't be worried. i won't be doing this again (hopefully )

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Old 11-09-2006, 01:13 PM   #13
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Well, to the causual observer you would think plants do "grow in the dark".
But many experiments have been done in the distant past to show this is not the case, stretching towards any source of light is a common trait, makes sense too, if you are in the dark and need light to live, stretching is about all you can do, most plants , unlike critters, cannot get up and move to a better spot.

You can look this phenomenon up on the web Botany sites.

Tom Barr
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Old 11-09-2006, 11:24 PM   #14
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well, that makes perfect sense Tom. I'll look up some info on the net. Thanks for the explanation.

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