The capture and gratuitous disposal of resources by plants

V. O. Sadras, Howard Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

51 Citations (SciVal)


1. Every plant will die if light, water or nutrients are withheld for long enough. It is natural to think of plants in general as having evolved a strong drive for resource acquisition as a survival mechanism. All else being equal, an individual that sequesters more material from the environment than its neighbour must be at a competitive advantage. 2. But the resource capture imperative seems at odds with the profligacy of some characteristic developmental and metabolic processes in many plants. Here, using leaf senescence as a vantage point, we consider whether a kind of wilful inefficiency of resource use may not be essential for success as a terrestrial autotroph.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalFunctional Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2001


  • Abscission
  • Carbon
  • Evolution
  • Leaf
  • Nitrogen
  • Photosynthesis
  • Root
  • Sen escence


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