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

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

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Abstract

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 d1) 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.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: abiotic factors, climate change, cuticle, growth, herbivory, phenolics.
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Plant Sciences
Page Range: pp. 73-80
ISSN: 1058-5893
Identification Number - DOI: 10.1086/647917
Additional Information: Copyright © 2010 The University of Chicago Press
Date Deposited: 24 Jan 2011 02:47
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2014 04:15
URI: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/id/eprint/10598
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