Some leaves can live for decades, but most have a limited lifespan.
Agriculture is mostly about keeping foliage alive, so it seems pretty important to try to understand the built-in obsolescence of leaves.
Most plants also have a limited lifespan. Others, such as ancient trees, just seem to go on and on. What determines the longevity of the whole plant?
And what in turn can this tell us about biological ageing in general, and human ageing in particular?
My research speciality is senescence, a subject that embraces all these questions and more.
Senescence is the title of a recent book, the story of life, death and everything in between. It can be read as a continuous narrative or opened at random to sample one-page stand-alone mini-essays. The book includes copious notes and a comprehensive index. It’s available as a paperback from Summerfield Books, from AmazonUK and as an ebook.