This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Learn more

Trees can suffer Jetlag

Just leaf them alone for a bit

Trees can suffer Jetlag

Jetlag's a cruel mistress. But not just for us humans. have revealed that trees too can suffer the harrowing curse of timezone hoppery.

Researchers at the University of Western Sydney (UWS) say jetlag could operate at an ecosystem level in plants and hold clues to how trees store carbon.

The internal biological clock that's disrupted when humans travel across time zones - causing jetlag - could regulate plant photosynthesis, says Dr Victor Resco de Dios, the lead author of the study Global Change Biology.

"If you could move a whole forest from Sydney to Barcelona all of the trees - in fact the whole ecosystem - would likely have the plant equivalent of jetlag," de Dios told Stuff.

Stuff say: While conceding few forests are moved across international time zones, he said the research could be useful in an era of tackling climate change.

Using observational data collected from forests around the world, Dr Resco de Dios' team tested whether a change in environmental conditions affected the amount of carbon locked away by plants.

"The research results provide a much better understanding of ecosystem function and its capacity to store carbon which is essential in an era of climate change and carbon accounting," he said.

The research is hoped to provide a greater understanding of the biological clocks of trees and whether this knowledge could improve the accuracy of carbon exchange models in the future.

Image: Studentbeans


Related Reviews and Shortlists