Document Detail

Biomechanical consequences of branching in flexible wave-swept macroalgae.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  25413976     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Wave-swept macroalgae present an excellent system for studying the effects of chronic physical stress on the morphological evolution of plants. Wave-induced water velocities impose great drag forces, leading to a morphological tradeoff between light interception and drag reduction/tolerance. What are the hydrodynamic consequences of morphological diversification, such as increased branching? Drag was measured on artificial macroalgae of constant 'photosynthetic' area, but differing branching patterns, in a high-speed flume at water velocities up to 3.5 m s(-1) . A meta-analysis was used to compare dislodgement forces of branched and unbranched species of comparable sizes in the field to determine if drag-prone morphologies had greater attachment strengths. Branched fronds experienced greater drag than unbranched fronds of the same size. Greater drag in branched forms was not the result of increased projected area but probably resulted from greater pressure or friction drag. In the field, branched species resisted greater dislodgement forces than unbranched species of comparable size, suggesting that branched species compensate for increased drag with stronger attachment to the substratum. Branching has clear biomechanical consequences, increasing drag and the need for increased attachment. This raises questions about physiological and ecological advantages that may have driven the repeated evolution of biomechanically costly, branched morphologies.
Samuel Starko; Barry Z Claman; Patrick T Martone
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2014-11-20
Journal Detail:
Title:  The New phytologist     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1469-8137     ISO Abbreviation:  New Phytol.     Publication Date:  2014 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2014-11-21     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  2014-11-21    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9882884     Medline TA:  New Phytol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
© 2014 The Authors New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.
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