Science Junkie
The secret math of plants: UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design
Life scientists from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science have discovered fundamental rules of leaf design that underlie plants’ ability to produce leaves that vary enormously in size. In their mathematical design, leaves are the “perfect machines,” said Lawren Sack, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the research.The UCLA team discovered the mathematical relationships using “allometric analysis,” which looks at how the proportions of parts of an organism change with differences in total size. This approach has been used by scientists since Galileo but had never before been applied to the interior of leaves.


Reporting in the October issue of the American Journal of Botany, the biologists focused on how leaf anatomy varies across leaves of different sizes. They examined plant species from around the world, all grown on the UCLA campus.


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The secret math of plants: UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design
Life scientists from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science have discovered fundamental rules of leaf design that underlie plants’ ability to produce leaves that vary enormously in size. In their mathematical design, leaves are the “perfect machines,” said Lawren Sack, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the research.The UCLA team discovered the mathematical relationships using “allometric analysis,” which looks at how the proportions of parts of an organism change with differences in total size. This approach has been used by scientists since Galileo but had never before been applied to the interior of leaves.


Reporting in the October issue of the American Journal of Botany, the biologists focused on how leaf anatomy varies across leaves of different sizes. They examined plant species from around the world, all grown on the UCLA campus.


Read moreImages: [x][x][x]
Zoom Info
The secret math of plants: UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design
Life scientists from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science have discovered fundamental rules of leaf design that underlie plants’ ability to produce leaves that vary enormously in size. In their mathematical design, leaves are the “perfect machines,” said Lawren Sack, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the research.The UCLA team discovered the mathematical relationships using “allometric analysis,” which looks at how the proportions of parts of an organism change with differences in total size. This approach has been used by scientists since Galileo but had never before been applied to the interior of leaves.


Reporting in the October issue of the American Journal of Botany, the biologists focused on how leaf anatomy varies across leaves of different sizes. They examined plant species from around the world, all grown on the UCLA campus.


Read moreImages: [x][x][x]
Zoom Info

The secret math of plants: UCLA biologists uncover rules that govern leaf design

Life scientists from UCLA’s College of Letters and Science have discovered fundamental rules of leaf design that underlie plants’ ability to produce leaves that vary enormously in size. In their mathematical design, leaves are the “perfect machines,” said Lawren Sack, a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and senior author of the research.

The UCLA team discovered the mathematical relationships using “allometric analysis,” which looks at how the proportions of parts of an organism change with differences in total size. This approach has been used by scientists since Galileo but had never before been applied to the interior of leaves.

Reporting in the October issue of the American Journal of Botany, the biologists focused on how leaf anatomy varies across leaves of different sizes. They examined plant species from around the world, all grown on the UCLA campus.
Read more
Images: [x][x][x]






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