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Leaf Temperatures of Heliotropium tenellum and Their Ecological Implications

Jerry M. Baskin and Carol C. Baskin
The American Midland Naturalist
Vol. 100, No. 2 (Oct., 1978), pp. 488-492
Published by: University of Notre Dame
DOI: 10.2307/2424854
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2424854
Page Count: 5
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Leaf Temperatures of Heliotropium tenellum and Their Ecological Implications
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Abstract

Heliotropium tenellum (Nutt.) Torr. is a characteristic summer annual plant species of the hot, dry cedar glade environment in southeastern United States and in Missouri. During periods of intense solar radiation, temperatures of its small (ca. 70 mm2) leaves remain near air temperature, fluctuating from 2.5 C above to 3.0 C below air temperature. The small leaves of H. tenellum, by maintaining temperatures near those of the air, may have a twofold physiological value to the plant. Temperatures near air temperatures would be better for enzyme-mediated reactions, and transpiration rates would be reduced.

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