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Thread: Cloudy days

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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    We all know that temperature waffles up and it waffles down, while photoperiod goes in one direction or the other. What is happening to the plants when it's cloudy? Are they deriving any benefit from it at all?

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    白人看不懂 Drosera36's Avatar
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    I would assume as long as you can see out your window and observe the squirrels, plants are still photosynthesizing.

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Yup, they're still photosynthesizing.

    Remember, chloroplasts are not bound by membranes within the cell, and as such they're free to move around. When there's lots of light, chloroplasts will line up behind one another (like stacking, with the sunlight coming from above) so that only the the few blocking the extreme sunlight will get damaged (this's why plants in lots of sunshine are often a lighter green.) In dark conditions (eg shade,) chloroplasts will move and spread out, so that as many are getting light as possible (thus, plants which grow in lower light conditions are often a darker green; think forest floor in a forest with a dense canopy.)

    While a a few days of reduced light due to clouds wont generally cause any major visible differences in leaf shade (IME,) they're compensating for the weather and making the best out of it.

    An excellent example is Germany. Parents will sometimes need to get vitamin D supplements for their children because they aren't getting exposed to enough sunlight, so their bodies don't produce enough Vit D on their own (there are years when you get just a few days of sunshine.) Yet areas like these often have vast amounts of vegetation. Hamburg, for instance, looked at from above looks more like a forest than a city due to the large gardens and extensive greenery, when it fact it is a pretty large city.

    There are definitly cases when things are better when they're cloudy. Certain plants will close their stomata when there's too much sun (otherwise they risk drying out,) this hinders gas exchange and if it occurs for an extended period of time, a plant will use O2 instead of CO2 in the photosynthetic process, this reaction ends up actually just wasting energy for the plant. A bit of cloud darkness isn't a problem, it's generally too much sun that you should be worried about! Furthermore, it's better to have a sun-adapted/acclimated plant in shade, than a shade-adapted/acclimated plant in sun.

    To sum it all up: Photosynthesis is still going on, you gotta try REEEAL hard to get it to stop.
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]An excellent example is Germany. Parents will sometimes need to get vitamin D supplements for their children because they aren't getting exposed to enough sunlight, so their bodies don't produce enough Vit D on their own (there are years when you get just a few days of sunshine.) Yet areas like these often have vast amounts of vegetation. Hamburg, for instance, looked at from above looks more like a forest than a city due to the large gardens and extensive greenery, when it fact it is a pretty large city.
    Not sure about that! Germany has long hot sunny summers and even if you lived in a forested city you'd still get plenty of vitamin D.
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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Not sure about that! Germany has long hot sunny summers and even if you lived in a forested city you'd still get plenty of vitamin D.
    Trust me on this one, there's areas in Germany where is important. I'm German, my parents are, my grandparents are (etc etc,) so we know about raisin' kids there. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/new/smile.gif[/img] Granted, there are areas where you get some dern HOT days in summer. Germany is pretty far north (and I'm sure you appreciate, Alexis, being in the UK,) I believe Hamburg and Anchorage share the same longitude. I know the Vitamin D thing sounds far fetched, but unless I'm horribly, horribly mistaken and making up that my mom ever said this; it's true. [img]http://www.**********.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif[/img]
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    Germany has a continental climate so doesn't get affected so much by the rain from the Atlantic that we often have to put up with. I've no doubt people buy vitamin D supplements - it's probably in the multivit I take every day!
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    Tropical Fish Enthusiast jimscott's Avatar
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    Jonathan, thank you for the scientific information! Glad to know that they adapt to cloudy days. Man, it has been very UK in Western NY!

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    War. War never changes. Est's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by [b
    Quote[/b] ]Jonathan, thank you for the scientific information! Glad to know that they adapt to cloudy days. Man, it has been very UK in Western NY!
    My pleasure, Jim! Haha, I was looking at the weather map today in the paper, I looked at NY and thought "Poor Jim." lol It may be a bit rainy and windy here, but at least it aint freezing!
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