dimanche 19 juillet 2009

The desert rhubarb practically waters itself

University of Haifa-Oranim researchers have detected a unique mechanism in the Negev desert rhubarb plant. Its leaves collect 16 times more water from rain and dew than other plants in the region, so it virtually waters itself.

The researchers from the science education/biology department say the species is the first example of a self-irrigating desert plant to be discovered. The species, called a desert rhubarb, grows in the Negev mountains where yearly precipitation totals only 75 mm. Unlike most desert plants, which have small leaves to minimize moisture loss, this plant is unique in that its leaves are particularly large; each rosette of one to four leaves reaches a diameter of up to one meter.

Prof. Simcha Lev-Yadun, Prof. Gideon Ne'eman and Prof. Gad Katzir came across this unique plant while studying with students, and noticed that its leaves are unusually large and covered with a waxy cuticle. They observed an exceptional ridged structure on each leaf, resembling the region's mountainous topography.
Lire l'article complet » (Source: article de Judy Siegel-Itzkovich @ JPost)
Anti Boycott Israel : rhubarbe du Négev, auto-irrigation
Photo: The desert Rhubarb, University of Haifa

Désert - Université de Haïfa : Recherche sur la rhubarbe qui possède un système d'auto-irrigation

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