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Why Our Favorite Crops Live Fast and Die Young

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 Biology   |   Environmental   |   Science
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To start using Tab for a Cause, go to: http://tabforacause.org/r/minuteearth2
We mostly grow annual plants because they reliably produce energy-rich seeds, which we like to eat.

Thanks to our Patreon patrons https://www.patreon.com/MinuteEarth and our YouTube sponsors.
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To learn more, start your googling with these keywords:
Annual: a plant that typically lives for a year or less
Biennial: a plant that typically lives for two years
Perennial: a plant that typically lives for multiple years
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If you liked this week’s video, you might also like:
The Case Against Civilization: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/09/18/the-case-against-civilization
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Subscribe to MinuteEarth on YouTube: http://goo.gl/EpIDGd
Support us on Patreon: https://goo.gl/ZVgLQZ
And visit our website: https://www.minuteearth.com/

Say hello on Facebook: http://goo.gl/FpAvo6
And Twitter: http://goo.gl/Y1aWVC

And download our videos on itunes: https://goo.gl/sfwS6n
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Credits (and Twitter handles):
Script Writer: Alex Reich (@alexhreich)
Script Editor: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Illustrators: Bruno van Wayenburg and Ever Salazar
Video Director: Emily Elert (@eelert)
Video Narrator: Emily Elert (@eelert)
With Contributions From: Henry Reich, Kate Yoshida, Peter Reich, David Goldenberg
Music by: Nathaniel Schroeder: http://www.soundcloud.com/drschroeder
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References:

Bonser, S. P. (2013). High reproductive efficiency as an adaptive strategy in competitive environments. Functional Ecology, 27(4), 876-885. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2435.12064/full

Crews, T. Personal Communication, Dec 2017.

Crews, T. E., & DeHaan, L. R. (2015). The strong perennial vision: A response. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 39(5), 500-515. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21683565.2015.1008777

Friedman, J., & Rubin, M. J. (2015). All in good time: understanding annual and perennial strategies in plants. American journal of botany, 102(4), 497-499. http://www.amjbot.org/content/102/4/497.short

Denison, R.F. Personal Communication, Nov 2017.

Milla, R. Personal Communication, Dec 2017.

Pimentel, D., et al. (2012). Annual vs. perennial grain production. Agriculture, ecosystems & environment, 161, 1-9. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880912002058

Rees, M., & Long, M. J. (1992). Germination biology and the ecology of annual plants. The American Naturalist, 139(3), 484-508. http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/1403/1/reesm8_Rees_and_Long_1992_Am_Nat.pdf

Reich, P. B. (2014). The world‐wide ‘fast–slow’plant economics spectrum: a traits manifesto. Journal of Ecology, 102(2), 275-301. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/1365-2745.12211/full

Smaje, C. (2015). The strong perennial vision: A critical review. Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, 39(5), 471-499. http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/21683565.2015.1007200

Van Tassel, D. L., DeHaan, L. R., & Cox, T. S. (2010). Missing domesticated plant forms: can artificial selection fill the gap?. Evolutionary Applications, 3(5‐6), 434-452. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1752-4571.2010.00132.x/full

Vico, G. Personal Communication, Nov 2017.

Vico, G., et al. (2016). Trade‐offs between seed output and life span–a quantitative comparison of traits between annual and perennial congeneric species. New Phytologist, 209(1), 104-114. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/nph.13574/full

Westoby, M. Personal Communication, Nov 2017.

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