Plants and Their Environment

  • Gaylon S. Campbell
Part of the Heidelberg Science Library book series (HSL)


In our previous discussions of animals and humans we have found that certain environments are unsuitable for life. An animal can choose its environment to best suits its energetics. Plants are not able to move around to find a suitable environment, but we see considerable evidence that selection and adaptation result in leaf morphologies, canopy structures, etc. which give the plants native to a given environment a competitive advantage for that location. Desert plants, for example, tend to have quite narrow leaves, while leaves of plants from more moist environments may be much larger. We might ask ourselves what environmental limitations there are to leaf size and other leaf characteristics related to energy exchange or whether there is an optimum leaf form for a particular leaf environment. Obviously, factors outside the scope of this discussion will influence the optimum leaf form for a given environment, such as structural economy, canopy structure, and predation. We will concern ourselves primarily with the effects of physical environment on photosynthesis and transpiration with the idea of indicating what leaf characteristics might be best suited to a particular environment.


Leaf Temperature Total Solar Irradiance Vapor Density Leaf Orientation Maximum Photosynthesis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 9.1
    Lommen, P. W. , C. R. Schwintzer, C. S. Yocum, and D. M. Gates (1971) A model describing photosynthesis in terms of gas diffusion and enzyme kinetics. Planta (Berl.) 98:195–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 9.2
    Penman, H. L (1948) Natural evaporation from open water, bare soil, and grass. Proc. R. Soc. A194:220.Google Scholar
  3. 9.3
    Taylor, S. E. (1975) Optimal leaf form. Perspectives in Biophysical Ecology (D. M. Gates and R. B. Schmerl, eds.). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar
  4. 9.4
    Taylor, S. E. and O. J. Sexton (1972) Some implications of leaf tearing in Musaceae. Ecology 53 :143–149.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 9.5
    van Bavel, C. H. M. (1975) A behavioral equation for leaf carbon dioxide assimilation and a test of its validity. Photosynthetica 9:165–176.Google Scholar
  6. 9.6
    Yocum, C. S. and P. W. Lommen (1975) Mesophyll resistances. Perspectives in Biophysical Ecology (D. M. Gates and R. B. Schmerl, eds.). New York: Springer-Verlag.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1977

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gaylon S. Campbell
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Agronomy and Soils Program in Biochemistry and BiophysicsWashington State UniversityPullmanUSA

Personalised recommendations