How dehydration affects stem bending stiffness and leaf toughness after sampling of the liana Amphilophium crucigerum (L.) L.G.Lohmann (Bignoniaceae)
Keywords:climbing plant, leaf fracture, plant biomechanics, stem flexibility, Young’s modulus
Lianas are woody climbers and their stems and leaves deal with different environmental pressures such as resistance to mechanical damage and dehydration. The damage resistance of plants can be biomechanically evaluated by their stiffness, bending and toughness. Despite the well-known relationship between physical resistance and moisture of plant organs in woody plants, this relationship is uncertain and has not been previously evaluated in lianas. Thus, this study investigated experimentally the effect of stems and leaf dehydration on the structural Young’s modulus in the stem and fracture toughness in leaves across time in the liana Amphilophium crucigerum (Bignoniaceae). Ten stem and leaf samples were collected and assigned to two distinct conditions: (i) samples kept moist and (ii) samples underwent gradual dehydration with natural moisture loss by air exposition. Successive measures of structural Young’s modulus and fracture toughness were taken every 4 hours during a 48-hour period for both conditions. Stem and leaf samples which underwent gradual dehydration showed greater bending stiffness and fracture toughness, respectively, while the samples kept moist presented no changes in any studied biomechanical features during the entire experiment. We concluded that the moisture of both stem and leaf samples are critical factors to estimate the biomechanical properties of lianas stem and leaves.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Caian Souza Gerolamo, Mariana Dutra Fogaça, Carolina Lopes Bastos
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.