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Image of the Day: Watering Hole

A new study describes an unusual water harvesting method in plants.

Aug 8, 2018
Sukanya Charuchandra

ABOVE: MATT BIDDICK

A Pandanus forsteri root tip 
MATT BIDDICK 

Scientists have discovered an alternative water transport system in a screw pine tree (Pandanus forsteri) from Lord Howe Island, off the coast of Australia. Their findings were published August 1 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B. The tree’s aerial roots take years to reach soil, which prompts its use of a different mechanism of obtaining water; its leaves direct rainwater through channels to the tips of roots that store it in absorptive tissue.

M. Biddick et al., “An alternative water transport system in land plants,” Proceedings of the Royal Society B, doi:10.1098/rspb.2018.0995, 2018.

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