Lihtning and plant evolution

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Sat Jun 24 09:08:30 EST 1995


ajbrink at iaccess.za (A J Brink) wrote:
>[...]
>Plants in habitats frequented by lightning have evolved spherical overall 
>shapes, leaves that terminate in sharp points and THORNS. 
>
>Could the High Voltage Botanists out there please comment. 

There may be a non-causal relationship between the shape of the canopy/leaves,
presence of thorns and lightning - xerophytes have leaves adapted to reduce
transpiration, with spikes and thorns as a defence against grazing.  A
spherical canopy would also provide the smallest surface area for
transpiration.

I think it is more likely that the humidity of the air within and near to the
tree canopy would tend to make it less likely to be struck by lightning than
nearby dry buildings with pointed roofs/chimneys etc.  Did any of the buildings
have a corrugated iron roof ... ??

	Tony.
-- 
Dr. A.J.Travis,                       |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,            |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,            |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB2 9SB, Scotland, UK.       |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687




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