The theory that leaves, among other uses, are also used as a way to excrete toxins from the plants body has been very controversial among many botanists. This theory says that the plant takes in toxins from the soil and excretes these toxins out of the body through the leaves of the plant when the leaves fall off. Is this possible? Are leaves really the plants mechanism of excretion? I will give some evidence that may support this theory and shed light on if this is really another function of leaves on a plant.
First off, what are excretions by a plant? Excretions by a plant are substances left over from respiratory processes that cannot be used by the plant. They are also chemicals or toxins that are taken in by the root system up into the body of the plant and are stored in old and unused xylem or phloem passages. These excretions were first brought up somewhere around the mid eighties and have discrepancy to whether or not they exist still today.
Some people that don’t believe in this theory are most likely nonbelievers partially due to logic. This theory would sound illogical to someone because of what they had learned in school. In school they had learned the logical reason to explain the leaf drop period. They will think that leaves just fall off so the tree can keep itself warm through the winter and for nothing more advanced than that.
When the leaves fall off before winter to rid the tree of its “liabilities” or leaves it could also rid itself of toxins that were taken in from the soil possibly by other plants as a defense mechanism. Leaves also fall off of plants at other times of the year and off of plants you didn’t think shed leaves, contrary to what you might think. Take the evergreen for example. It is a type of pine that you wouldn’t think that it excreted leaves. But if you were to look under an evergreen you would find that there are in fact fallen and dead leaves under it.
This theory that has been around for...