Do plants utilize water better in sunlight or in darkness?

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by MacGyver1968, May 23, 2008.

  1. MacGyver1968 Fixin' Shit that Ain't Broke Valued Senior Member

    7,028 have not entered "Bizzaro World"...Mac is actually starting a real science thread.

    Here, in North Texas, water conservation is always on our minds, because this region is prone to drought. One of the biggest users/abusers is outdoor watering of lawns and plants....and I was trying to figure out when the best possible time to water your lawn. Watering in the hours of darkness reduce the amount of water loss to evaporation....But when do plants (lawn-type grasses) utlitlize water the best?

    Let's do a thought experiment:

    Let's imagine I have 24 identical plants of some sort of variety of grass.( one for each hour of the day) Each is exposed to the same exact conditions. We will water plant #1 at 1am, plant #2 at 2am, plant #3 at 3am...and so forth. Each plant will receive the same exact amount of water, (compensated for evaporation). After several weeks, which plant will be the heathliest?

    Does exposure to sunlight help plants to utilize water better, or do they like to be watered at night?

    Thank you,

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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

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  5. clusteringflux Version 1. OH! Valued Senior Member

    I've read that the water droplets can magnify sunlight and burn leaves of some plants and , according to this source, that is why you would water at dusk ,for instance in a highly sunny area.
    It made sense to me because in a natural setting rain clouds block the sun.
    Of course, I live in the Great lakes region/midwest and sunny weather is like hitting the lottery.
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  7. synthesizer-patel Sweep the leg Johnny! Valued Senior Member

    Fuck if only I hadn't been partnered with a girl with a great arse and a world class rack during my one and only plant biology - I might have paid more attention to the lectures.

    I'm going for night because:

    Less evaporation and Water uptake in plants is not dependent on photosynthesis - so plants would absorb water during the night, and then use it during the day.
  8. ElectricFetus Sanity going, going, gone Valued Senior Member

    As long as the soil retains some water over 24hr I don't think the plants will care, now saving water by irrigating at night, yes very good idea.
  9. Roman Banned Banned

    I would imagine it depends on the type of metabolism the plant uses, as well as what sort of environment it's generally adapted to. CAM plants have their carbon fixation process broken up so they can open their stoma at night to respire, while keeping them closed during the day to reduce water loss.

    One would think that the least water would be lost during nighttime, since it wouldn't evaporate. The only way to know for sure, though, is to run an experiment.

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