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Wind affects morphology, function, and chemistry of eucalypt tree seedlings


McArthur, C and Bradshaw, OS and Jordan, GJ and Clissold, FJ and Pile, AJ, Wind affects morphology, function, and chemistry of eucalypt tree seedlings, International Journal of Plant Sciences, 171, (1) pp. 73-80. ISSN 1058-5893 (2010) [Refereed Article]

DOI: doi:10.1086/647917


Wind is a powerful abiotic influence on plants that is predicted to increase with global warming. The resulting changes to plant function and interaction with herbivores are likely to have significant ecological, forestry, and agricultural consequences. We used a glasshouse manipulative study to test the effects of wind exposure on a range of morphological, functional, and chemical characteristics of seedlings of Eucalyptus tereticornis, a widespread coastal tree. Chronic wind exposure (6 wk of 3 h d-1) resulted in reduced height growth and leaf area, thicker leaf cuticle, slightly higher leaf dry matter, and greater phenolic concentration. Chronic and acute (single 3-h pulse) exposure to wind induced greater variability in minimum epidermal water conductance. The changes that occurred to seedlings show the significance of wind as an active abiotic agent in shaping plants. The changes, particularly if they are maintained or enhanced over time, may alter rates of herbivory and have the potential to lead to cascading ecological consequences that are especially relevant as climate changes. © 2010 by The University of Chicago.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Plant biology
Research Field:Plant physiology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in the biological sciences
UTAS Author:Jordan, GJ (Professor Greg Jordan)
ID Code:66821
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:13
Deposited By:Plant Science
Deposited On:2011-02-15
Last Modified:2011-05-12

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