A recent study by the New University of Arizona reveal that the patterns of vein in leaves decide its carbon intake and water absorption, a finding that can help the scientists in understanding global warming better.

Veins in life are the most important part of the leaf. It talks a lot about the plant. "It's like the skeleton because it holds the whole leaf up and lets it capture sunlight and not get blown over in a windstorm. It's like the circulatory system because it's distributing water from the roots up to all the cells within the leaf, and it's also bringing resources from the leaf back to the rest of the plant after photosynthesis has happened.

It's also like a nervous system because there are chemical signals that are transmitted to the leaves from other parts of the plant through the liquid in the veins," Benjamin Blonder, a doctoral student in the department of ecology and evolutionary biology at the new University of Arizona.

The researchers through a mathematical model analyzed the veins of the leaves for its density, number of loops, and their distance to understand various functions they do. According to them the density reveals the nutrition intake, distance shows the supply network of the leaf and its closeness shows its carbon intake."It's like in a city where there's a roadblock somewhere," said Blonder. "If the city was designed well, you can still take another road to get to where you want to be."

The team has already analyzed 2,500 species of leaves and explained that leaves with closely knit veins absorb more carbon. "Carbon can only get into leaves through little pores on the leaf surface, and when carbon comes in, which is something good for the plant, water also comes out," said Blonder. "There's this incredibly tricky tradeoff for all plants where they need to gain carbon to make energy, but to gain that carbon they lose a lot of water in the process. So if you want to gain more carbon, you have to lose more water."

But, the researchers do not believe that by planting more trees with closely knit veins can reduce the carbon footprint in the atmosphere. According to them this study is the first step towards understanding plant’s carbon intake and plant ecology.