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Climate-Dependent Heat-Triggered Opening Mechanism of Banksia Seed Pods
Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany.
Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Germany ; Technische Universit├Ąt Dresden, Germany.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia ; The University of Western Australia, Australia.
Kings Park and Botanic Garden, Australia ; The University of Western Australia, Australia.
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2018 (English)In: Advanced Science, ISSN 2198-3844, Vol. 5, no 1, article id 1700572Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Heat-triggered fruit opening and delayed release of mature seeds are widespread among plants in fire-prone ecosystems. Here, the material characteristics of the seed-containing follicles of Banksia attenuata (Proteaceae), which open in response to heat frequently caused by fire, are investigated. Material analysis reveals that long-term dimensional stability and opening temperatures of follicles collected across an environmental gradient increase as habitats become drier, hotter, and more fire prone. A gradual increase in the biaxial curvature of the hygroscopic valves provides the follicles in the driest region with the highest flexural rigidity. The irreversible deformation of the valves for opening is enabled via a temperature-dependent reduction of the elastic modulus of the innermost tissue layer, which then allows releasing the stresses previously generated by shrinkage of the fiber bundles in the adjacent layer during follicle drying. These findings illustrate the level of sophistication by which this species optimizes its fruit opening mechanism over a large distribution range with varying environmental conditions, and may not only have great relevance for developing biomimetic actuators, but also for elucidating the species' capacity to cope with climatic changes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. Vol. 5, no 1, article id 1700572
Keywords [en]
banksia, dimensional stability, fire, triggered follicle opening, Biomimetics, Fruits, Environmental conditions, Environmental gradient, Fire prone ecosystems, Irreversible deformation, Material characteristics, Temperature dependent, Fires
National Category
Natural Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ri:diva-33261DOI: 10.1002/advs.201700572Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85038025134OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ri-33261DiVA, id: diva2:1182165
Note

Funding details: Y728-B16, FWF, Austrian Science Fund; Funding details: ERC, European Research Council; Funding details: 681885, ERC, European Research Council; Funding details: FP1105, COST, European Cooperation in Science and Technology; Funding details: OeAW, Austrian Academy of Sciences; Funding text: The authors thank Matthias Meyer for providing the resin sample, as well as Nils Horbelt for technical support during mechanical testing and John SR Dunlop and John WC Dunlop for discussions and linguistic advice. The MPG and COST Action FP1105 are acknowledged for funding. N.G. acknowledges funding from the Austrian Science foundation (FWF, Y728-B16) and the European Research Council (ERC, grant agreement No 681885).

Available from: 2018-02-12 Created: 2018-02-12 Last updated: 2018-03-16Bibliographically approved

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