Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If You Use a Screen Reader

This content is available through Read Online (Free) program, which relies on page scans. Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.

'Underground Plant Mobility' and 'Dispersal of Diaspores.' Two Exemplary Case Studies for Useful Examinations of Functional Morphology (Plant Construction)

Norbert Pütz and Karl H. A. Schmidt
Systematics and Geography of Plants
Vol. 68, No. 1/2, Morphology, Anatomy and Systematics at the Centenary of Wilhelm Troll's Birth (1999), pp. 39-50
DOI: 10.2307/3668588
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3668588
Page Count: 12
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Subscribe ($19.50)
  • Cite this Item
Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
'Underground Plant Mobility' and 'Dispersal of Diaspores.' Two Exemplary Case Studies for Useful Examinations of Functional Morphology (Plant Construction)
Preview not available

Abstract

Two exemplary case studies of functional morphology are presented. The first topic, underground plant mobility, illustrates the feedback effect of 'plant structure' and observation of their 'functional role'. Questions are raised in relation to both, 'plant structure' and its 'functional role'. Experiments are developed to obtain answers, and to prompt further questions resulting from these answers. This was shown in an exemplary way in the unusually geophilous strategies of Hemerocallis fulva, well adapted to fulfilling the function 'cryptical survival'. Thus, investigation of functional morphology is useful for a better understanding of plant behaviour. The second case study relates to dispersal of diaspores in Apiaceae. Wind tunnel experiments were carried out to analyze the 'flying ability' of winged or spiny mericarps. In general, winged diaspores fly better than spiny ones, except in the case of Daucus muricatus, the spiny diaspores of which fly better than the winged ones, e.g., of Prangos pabularia. Thus, this topic was useful in showing that functional approaches to 'plant structure' may reveal new perspectives in ecological understanding. However, 'form' and 'function' are frequent in botanical literature, showing that a dualistic treatment of plant structures is very helpful for a better understanding of plant biology. Besides 'underground plant movement' and 'dispersal' there are important topics such as 'floral ecology', 'biomechanics', and many more. All of these could be included in one category, which we propose to call 'plant construction'. Scientific work on 'plant construction' should be based on three basic principles: 1. The starting point of the investigation should be the specific form itself, 2. The scientific question should be functional, and 3. Scientific investigation should be based on targeted observation and experiment.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
[39]
    [39]
  • Thumbnail: Page 
40
    40
  • Thumbnail: Page 
41
    41
  • Thumbnail: Page 
42
    42
  • Thumbnail: Page 
43
    43
  • Thumbnail: Page 
44
    44
  • Thumbnail: Page 
45
    45
  • Thumbnail: Page 
46
    46
  • Thumbnail: Page 
47
    47
  • Thumbnail: Page 
48
    48
  • Thumbnail: Page 
49
    49
  • Thumbnail: Page 
50
    50