Available space theory

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In botany, Available space theory, also known as "first available space theory", is a theory used to explain why most plants have an alternating leaf pattern on their stems. The theory states that the location of a new leaf on a stem is determined by the physical space between existing leaves. In other words, the location of a new leaf on a growing stem is directly related to the amount of space between the previous two leaves.[1] Building on ideas first put forth by Hoffmeister in 1868, Snow and Snow hypothesized in 1947 that leaves sprouted in the first available space on the stem.[2]

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  1. ^ "Available space theory". Dictionary of Botany. Retrieved 2012-05-24. 
  2. ^ Romberger, John (1963). Meristems, Growth, and Development in Woody Plants: An Analytical Review of Anatomical, Physiological, and Morphogenic Aspects. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 37.