Show Me the Carbon
Plants are us. Without their extraordinary prowess at translating light from the sun into edible food, we'd be toast. But they're essential in other ways as well.
Tremendous concern is expressed in daily media about the increase of greenhouse gases, especially carbon, in our atmosphere. Rarely considered are the plants which wrestle with these gases. The gatekeeper of that carbon--the responsible structures on a plant--are the stomata. These remarkable guard cells allow carbon dioxide into the plant, and oxygen and water out. As carbon increases in the atmosphere, stomata close more, and are smaller on most plants. This points to a singular, silent intelligence of plants who are busy adapting to climate change while we argue and delay action.
Several of these images suggest a human-like attitude and sentience, yet they reveal the brilliance of an entirely different kingdom of organisms from our own.
Mysteries remain about the delicate balance between plants and the atmosphere, and how stomata, like harbingers, behave. Given the key role played by the humble stomata, this series celebrates their diverse shapes and beauty.