Mistletoe Stock Video Footage


mistletoe

All mistletoe species are hemiparasites, because they do perform at least a little photosynthesis for at least a short period of their life cycle. However, in some species its contribution is very nearly zero. For example, some species, such as Viscum minimum, that parasitize succulents, commonly species of Cactaceae or Euphorbiaceae, grow largely within the host plant, with hardly more than the flower and fruit emerging. Once they have germinated and attached to the circulatory system of the host, their photosynthesis reduces so far that it becomes insignificant. Most of the Viscaceae bear evergreen leaves that photosynthesise effectively, and photosynthesis proceeds within their green, fleshy stems as well. Some species, such as Viscum capense, are adapted to semi-arid conditions and their leaves are vestigial scales, hardly visible without detailed morphological investigation. Therefore their photosynthesis and transpiration only take place in their stems, limiting their demands on the host's supply of water, but also limiting their intake of carbon dioxide for photosynthesis. Accordingly their contribution to the host's metabolic balance becomes trivial and the idle parasite may become quite yellow as it grows, having practically given up photosynthesis. At another extreme other species have vigorous green leaves. Not only do they photosynthesize actively, but a heavy infestation of mistletoe plants may take over whole host tree branches, sometimes killing practicall...




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