Talk:Dehiscence (botany)

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The word "dehiscence" has a number of associations in medicine that probably should get included. Wound dehiscence is a previously closed wound reopening. There is also a phenomenon called superior canal dehiscence in which a new window opens up in the labyrinth of the inner ear, resulting in a strange form of vertigo. I am not expert enough to write this article, but I can recognize the need.

I just paraphrased the above into a disambiguation page for dehiscence. Thanks for the input. David D. (Talk) 23:30, 28 October 2005 (UTC)

See also section[edit]

I've reverted a good-faith edit that moved the "see also" section down, and removed the wiktionary link for "caducous". My main concern is the position of the "see also" section (though I think that something for "caducous" will become useful as this page grows). "See also" normally belongs at the bottom of a page, but in this case it will be lost after all the detail. I feel that the "see also" is an important aspect of defining what dehiscence is, because in researching for this page I find that people talk about dehiscence of the hypanthium, meaning its abscission, which is quite confusing. I've put "anthesis" in there because, oddly enough, people don't say "dehiscence" for flowers such as Platycodon that pop open in exactly the same fashion as sporangia, etc. Disambiguation doesn't seem appropriate to this sort of difficult distinction between terms. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:10, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Ok I see your point. I think it would be better to have something like:
For other senses of this term, see abscission for the loss of structures such as petals, sepals, or hypanthium and anthesis for the opening of flowers
at the top of the article though to make it clear immediately. There's probably a better way of doing it, there are loads of possibilities at Template:For. Still not quite sure about the wiktionary link though - maybe an external link link the one on the right would be better? Smartse (talk) 23:17, 26 January 2010 (UTC)

Hi again. Good points. I'll work on the page a bit over the next few weeks as time permits, and perhaps this will become easier as more text appears. There's sure to be some actual use of these terms on the page that should make it easier to find neat, clear ways to deal with each of the issues. I see this as becoming a heavily cross-linked page, probably with very little citation of its own, and more images to help explain things. Nadiatalent (talk) 01:29, 27 January 2010 (UTC)

New category proposal[edit]

I propose beginning a new category linking articles dealing with plant dehiscence, to include: all articles of plant species, genera, etc. having this quality; all articles that explicitly discuss dehiscence in plants. As yet, an appropriate name for the category has not yet been decided, but I would submit either Category:Dehiscent plants or Category:Dehiscence in plants. Other suggestions, pros, cons are welcome. Some caveats:

  1. any plant species, genera, etc. article should not have the category until it is mentioned, along with a citation, at least once, because if it is not, it is less verifiable;
  2. any species level or above articles mentioning plant dehiscence must be in relation to the plant; not in, say, comparing the plant to another that has dehiscence, whereas the article's subject plant(s) do not.
  3. any article dealing with genera level or above should have at least a majority (if not all) of its species displaying dehiscence in order to include the category. For instance, it needn't be included on a genus page, where it can be dealt with as a distinct characteristic of individual species within the genus, where only certain members of that genus dehisce.

That's it, please discuss! Hamamelis (talk) 18:03, 14 October 2011 (UTC)

An interesting suggestion. Perhaps some parts of this page could be moved to the pages listed in that category. The unfortunate double structure that this page now has (e.g., with the picture of the lily anthers repeated), could perhaps then be reworked. Nadiatalent (talk) 19:18, 14 October 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the main category could be "Plants with dehiscent fruit", since all anthers are dehiscent. I'm not sure that bryophytes and fungi particularly need listing ... Nadiatalent (talk) 17:49, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I agree with not including fungi or bryophytes. Not sure if the name is the best one, but it would serve to limit the category in this way, and I would support it. And I think that title wouldn't semantically exclude the article dehiscence (botany), which obviously needs to be in. I know it's hair-splitting to bring it up, I just find security in precision, after having run-ins with editors who find legalistically styled arguments for changing things that end up making legalistic, but not intuitive sense. Hamamelis (talk) 20:05, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Maybe there's a difference in usage in different areas of botany. If you take the definition given in the first sentence ("Dehiscence is the opening, at maturity, of a plant structure, such as a fruit, anther, or sporangium, to release its contents") then all angiosperms must have some form of dehiscence to release their seeds, since these are (by definition) initially enclosed. So all angiosperms would belong to a broad definition of a category of "Plants with dehiscence". At least in paleobotany, with which I'm most familiar these days, a distinction is usually made between a structure which merely disintegrates or rots away and one which has a specific morphological feature which causes it to open. Thus Gonez and Gerrienne distinguished Cooksonia from Aberlemnia partly because the former released its spores by disintegration of a one-cell thick lid or operculum, whereas the latter had a line of weakness which caused the sporangium to split into two valves along this predetermined line. Only processes like the latter seem to me to be called "dehiscence" in the paleobotanical literature. So the definition needs to be tightened before a category would make sense. I think it has to clearly rule out mere disintegration or rotting or digestion, and say that the manner of opening is predetermined by some feature of the structure, such as a line of weakness. Peter coxhead (talk) 11:00, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
What you describe in palaeobotany also applies to extant plants. Achenes, for example, are indehischent fruit (or pistils), as are pumpkins. They rot away or are eaten. "Opening, at maturity" was supposed to not include those that rot away or are eaten, but perhaps it isn't clear enough. Hickey & King define "indehiscent" as "remaining closed at maturity". Another category for indehiscent fruit might be good (I wonder where Gaultheria procumbens fits). I can't think of better phrasing for the start of this page or better category names. Nadiatalent (talk) 16:26, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
The wording at Seed#Seed_dispersal (which I've just found) seems to capture what I was trying to say: "When the fruits open and release their seeds in a regular way, it is called dehiscent, which is often distinctive for related groups of plants, [...] When fruits do not open and release their seeds in a regular fashion they are called indehiscent [...]" It's the notion of some "regular way" which is predetermined which I think is important. Aesculus is a relevant example, perhaps; the outer capsule splits in a regular way to release the seed(s), which I think can therefore be called dehiscence, whereas when the seed germinates, although this does require its coat to split, it doesn't do so in a predetermined way, so I think the splitting wouldn't be called dehiscence. Peter coxhead (talk) 16:49, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
So as an experiment, I've edited this page a bit and made a small start on [[Category:Plants with indehiscent fruit]]. Nadiatalent (talk) 18:16, 16 October 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for creating it, Nadia! I will add the cat to others as time goes by (soon). Since we now have it, we definitely should have its opposite for dehiscent. To Peter: If I am reading you correctly, you would say Aesculus are dehiscent, because although the seed coating doesn't dehisce, the outer shell does (?)
I agree with the definitions for dehiscence and indehiscence in the introduction of Dehiscence (botany). Does anyone have any arguments against, or additions to the three caveats in the proposal? And to not include bryophytes or fungi? I ask because language of this kind would need to, at some point, be added to the category page. If it seems reasonable as it already stands, I will shortly create it using similar language. Hamamelis (talk) 04:53, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I too agree that Nadia's edits have clarified the definition.
As for categorization, I also agree with Nadia's creation of a category that refers to the part that is dehiscent; I don't think that it makes sense to say that the plant as a whole is or isn't a "plant with dehiscence", i.e. there shouldn't be a category like "Category:Dehiscent plants". At least some if not all species of Aesculus can be categorized as Category:Plants with dehiscent fruit. There are plants with dehiscent flowers; all(?) angiosperms are plants with dehiscent anthers; etc.
I have to say that I don't have any great enthusiasm for the category system as a whole, so I'm happy to leave extending it to others! Peter coxhead (talk) 08:20, 17 October 2011 (UTC)
I too have been unenthusiastic about categories that I've seen, but this one (two) seems to have a chance of becoming quite interesting, and would have the side-effect of getting that information with citations onto the plant pages. Perhaps there is a way to list the family that a plant belongs to on the page, so that, for example, the great variety in Ericaceae and Brasscicaceae can be seen (but perhaps that is something to do later, once there are some lists). Nadiatalent (talk) 12:02, 17 October 2011 (UTC)

Categorization of this article[edit]

This article doesn't belong inside Category:Plants with dehiscent fruit: it's not about a plant with dehiscent fruit. You could try to argue that it's the "main article" of the category, but that's not correct either, because this article includes other kinds of dehiscence, so it doesn't lie inside the category but straddles it. Whichever way I look at it, although the category and the article are clearly connected, and a link to it can be put on the category page, the connection is not the kind required for categorization (which is basically an "is-a" relationship). So I have restored the earlier deletion of the category. Peter coxhead (talk) 23:24, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi Peter, thanks for explaining why you reverted the inclusion of dehiscence (botany) into the above mentioned category. I like when things like this are discussed rather than done away with without any explanation. As you know, I was the one who had the idea originally, and you might expect me to be wed to it. But I'm not! I would be the first to acknowledge that botany is a strong interest of mine, but that I'm not an expert in any way. I think it is possible that this category went from the idea stage to creation too quickly without being properly fleshed out, and partly because I wanted to understand it better first. Unfortunately, in my opinion, not enough views have been heard. I still think the general idea has promise, but like Alan Liefting, agree that it may be too broadly conceived. To address your precise reason for reverting, I felt that way too, but wasn't sure of a better way of connecting them. I'm still not, but maybe something along the lines of having a {{main|dehiscence (botany)}} link would be helpful (that is, if the categories survive). Thanks, Hamamelis (talk) 09:26, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
I don't see why, if the categories survive, there couldn't be a "main" link to this article even if it's not in the category: it would be a little odd, but I would be happy with it. Peter coxhead (talk) 18:15, 16 December 2011 (UTC)
Or an explanation at the top, like the one at Category:Plants_with_indehiscent_fruit? I don't know if such explanations are "officially allowed" on category pages, though there are certainly quite a number of them. Nadiatalent (talk) 21:32, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, I think that category pages not only can but should have explanatory text. Help:Category#Category pages points out that category pages can be edited like any other page. Peter coxhead (talk) 14:26, 18 December 2011 (UTC)