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The Plant Stem pp 133-139 | Cite as

Anatomical adaptations to permanently changed environmental conditions

  • Fritz H. Schweingruber
  • Annett Börner
Open Access
Chapter

Abstract

All wood anatomy classification books describe the structure of so-called “normally grown” specimens. Nature, however, also produces a few giants, and many dwarfs. Here the question is raised to which degree local environmental factors modify the morphology and anatomy of stems of individual species. Exemplarily presented are the xylem structures of a few large (giants) and small individuals (dwarfs) of trees and herbs. Larger-thanaverage individuals have experienced mostly favorable growing conditions when they were young, and during their lifetime escaped the effects of extreme growth-limiting factors such as lack of nutrients, water or light, frost, or injury. In contrast, limiting and extreme factors negatively affected growth in small individuals. Giants are the winners, and dwarfs are the losers of competition.

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© The Author(s) 2018

<SimplePara><Emphasis Type="Bold">Open Access</Emphasis> This chapter is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license and indicate if changes were made.</SimplePara> <SimplePara>The images or other third party material in this chapter are included in the chapter's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the chapter's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.</SimplePara>

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fritz H. Schweingruber
    • 1
  • Annett Börner
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research – WSLBirmensdorfSwitzerland
  2. 2.Melrose ParkAustralia

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