Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Do plants have ambient temperatures?

  1. May 3, 2008 #1
    Consider a pine tree in a freezing climate. During winter temperatures outside average -10 Celcius. My question is how warm the inside of the pine tree is during this period. Clearly, this would vary from species to species, but in general, does the pine tree keep an internal temperature above 0 celcius?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 3, 2008 #2

    jim mcnamara

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    No.

    Trees are not homeothermic like mammals. Plants a have a lot of adaptations for dealing with cold, and may often have temperatures inside tissues that are above ambient.

    A lot of plants do have ways to stop cell damage in very cold temperatures. Plants in the Altiplano in the Andes are often very shaggy looking, for example. Other species have 'antifreeze' compounds that prevent cell membrane rupture during freeze-thaw cycles.
     
  4. May 3, 2008 #3
    Thanks Jim. So for example, do you know of any study that says definitively that 'so and so' plant had an internal temperature of 1 Celsius, when it was -5 Celsius outside? Or something to that effect where its clear just how warm the plant keeps itself versus the outside envinronment?
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?