By Barbara L. Gartner

Stems, of varied sizes and styles, are eager about lots of the natural strategies and interactions of vegetation, starting from aid, delivery, and garage to improvement and safeguard. The stem itself is a crucially very important middleman: it hyperlinks above- and less than floor organs-connecting roots to leaves. a global crew of prime researchers vividly illustrate that stems are greater than pipes, greater than easy connecting and assisting buildings; particularly stems are severe, anatomically designated constructions of huge variability. it's, to an unappreciated volume, this variability that underpins either the range and the luck of crops in myriad ecosystems. Plant Stems could be a priceless source on form/function relationships for researchers and graduate-level scholars in ecology, evolutionary biology, body structure, improvement, genetics, agricultural sciences, and horticulture as they get to the bottom of the mechanisms and procedures that let organisms and ecosystems to operate. Key good points * Syntheses of structural, physiological, and ecological features of stems * a number of viewpoints on how stem constitution pertains to functionality * Highlights of significant components of plant biology lengthy overlooked

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Stems, of assorted sizes and styles, are enthusiastic about many of the natural tactics and interactions of crops, starting from help, shipping, and garage to improvement and safeguard. The stem itself is a crucially vital middleman: it hyperlinks above- and lower than floor organs-connecting roots to leaves.

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Growth rate) toward such energy-rich microsites. Too high a rate of disturbance, of course, could eliminate the hosts on which vines climb or make them so rare that host-vine encounter rates plummet. A shortage of water or nutrients may reduce the competitive advantage of vines by forcing all plants, structural parasites as well as self-supporting species, to allocate heavily to roots, reducing the relative growth advantage of vines (Givnish, 1984). Vines will also lose their competitive edge if low resource availability limits the abundance of tall, self-supporting hosts (Gartner, 1991b).

If some are removed or buckle under heavy winds, then shoots near the exposed edge can become unstable and lead to a catastrophic spread of buckling t h r o u g h o u t the stand. Such failure ("lodging") occurs frequently in grain crops struck by heavy winds when nearly ripe. an happen when such mutualism is disrupted. 2. Climbing Adaptations Biomechanical constraints dictate that tendril climbers can ascend on hosts of the finest diameter; twiners, on hosts of greater diameter; and adhesive-root climbers, on hosts of the greatest diameter.

Many forest herbs have annual, essentially determinate shoots. The proportion of above-ground biomass they devote each year to leaf tissue declines with leaf height (Fig. =_ tt~ ta~ t~ E . Q "13 e-- > 0 I ! < - 0 + Energetic trade-offs associated with the evolution of leaf height in herbaceous plants. Left: Taller herbs must allocate more resources to support tissue in order to remain mechanically stable, resulting in a decline in the fraction of above-ground productivity allocated to leaves with increasing leaf height.

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