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Veritasium - Why do trees grow so high?

Veritasium - Why do trees grow so high?

(3:57) The answer may seem obvious - competition for sunlight - and to a degree that is true. But delve in, and it becomes more interesting. From YT: "We often imagine that unregulated competition produces optimal outcomes, behaviours, efficiencies, but trees and baggage carousels are two examples where the stable solution is worse for everyone than another strategy. This I find surprising and interesting - that evolution doesn't come to the best solution, it comes to the most stable one."

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cengland0 cengland0 (1589 days ago)

To say there is no added benefit for the tree to be tall is incorrect. If all the trees had their leaves at the ground like he proposed, they would be susceptible to animals eating those leaves. Also, the lower branches catch sunlight that gets through the first layer.

A lily pad is very short and has one large leaf. When you see them in nature, they compete for the light and you see one lily pad growing on top of another.

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To say there is no added benefit for the tree to be tall is incorrect. If all the trees had their leaves at the ground like he proposed, they would be susceptible to animals eating those leaves. Also, the lower branches catch sunlight that gets through the first layer.

A lily pad is very short and has one large leaf. When you see them in nature, they compete for the light and you see one lily pad growing on top of another.

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Guest: originalmad (1589 days ago)
Latest comment:

its not exactly a new idea, richard dawkns book "a selfish gene" discusses it in some detail

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Latest comment:

its not exactly a new idea, richard dawkns book "a selfish gene" discusses it in some detail

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