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The cracking of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) cones

Horstmann, Martin ; Buchheit, Hannah ; Speck, Thomas ; Poppinga, Simon (2022)
The cracking of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) cones.
In: Frontiers in plant science, 13
doi: 10.3389/fpls.2022.982756
Article, Bibliographie

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Abstract

Pine cones show functionally highly resilient, hygroscopically actuated opening and closing movements, which are repeatable and function even in millions of years old, coalified cones. Although the functional morphology and biomechanics behind the individual seed scale motions are well understood, the initial opening of the cone, which is often accompanied by an audible cracking noise, is not. We therefore investigated the initial opening events of mature fresh cones of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and their subsequent motion patterns. Using high-speed and time lapse videography, 3D digital image correlation techniques, force measurements, thermographic and chemical- rheological resin analyses, we are able to draw a holistic picture of the initial opening process involving the rupture of resin seals and very fast seed scale motion in the millisecond regime. The rapid cone opening was not accompanied by immediate seed release in our experiments and, therefore, cannot be assigned to ballistochory. As the involved passive hydraulic-elastic processes in cracking are very fine-tuned, we hypothesize that they are under tight mechanical-structural control to ensure an ecologically optimized seed release upon environmental conditions suitable for wind dispersal. In this context, we propose an interplay of humidity and temperature to be the external “drivers” for the initial cone opening, in which resin works as a crucial chemical-mechanical latch system.

Item Type: Article
Erschienen: 2022
Creators: Horstmann, Martin ; Buchheit, Hannah ; Speck, Thomas ; Poppinga, Simon
Type of entry: Bibliographie
Title: The cracking of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) cones
Language: English
Date: 19 October 2022
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in plant science
Volume of the journal: 13
Collation: 13 Seiten
DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2022.982756
URL / URN: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2022.98275...
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Abstract:

Pine cones show functionally highly resilient, hygroscopically actuated opening and closing movements, which are repeatable and function even in millions of years old, coalified cones. Although the functional morphology and biomechanics behind the individual seed scale motions are well understood, the initial opening of the cone, which is often accompanied by an audible cracking noise, is not. We therefore investigated the initial opening events of mature fresh cones of Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris) and their subsequent motion patterns. Using high-speed and time lapse videography, 3D digital image correlation techniques, force measurements, thermographic and chemical- rheological resin analyses, we are able to draw a holistic picture of the initial opening process involving the rupture of resin seals and very fast seed scale motion in the millisecond regime. The rapid cone opening was not accompanied by immediate seed release in our experiments and, therefore, cannot be assigned to ballistochory. As the involved passive hydraulic-elastic processes in cracking are very fine-tuned, we hypothesize that they are under tight mechanical-structural control to ensure an ecologically optimized seed release upon environmental conditions suitable for wind dispersal. In this context, we propose an interplay of humidity and temperature to be the external “drivers” for the initial cone opening, in which resin works as a crucial chemical-mechanical latch system.

Uncontrolled Keywords: hygroscopy, initial opening, pine cone, plant movement, seed release
Additional Information:

Artikel-ID: 982756

Divisions: 10 Department of Biology
10 Department of Biology > Botanischer Garten
Date Deposited: 20 Oct 2022 07:00
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2023 08:53
PPN: 500644179
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