Rapid plant movement

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The Venus flytrap is one of a very small group of plants that are capable of rapid movement.

Rapid plant movement encompasses movement in plant structures occurring over a very short period, usually under one second. For example, the Venus flytrap closes its trap in about 100 milliseconds.[1] The dogwood bunchberry's flower opens its petals and fires pollen in less than 0.5 milliseconds. The record is currently held by the white mulberry tree, with flower movement taking 25 microseconds, as pollen is catapulted from the stamens at velocities in excess of half the speed of sound—near the theoretical physical limits for movements in plants.[2]

These rapid plant movements differ from the more common, but much slower "growth-movements" of plants, called tropisms. Tropisms encompass movements that lead to physical, permanent alterations of the plant while rapid plant movements are usually reversible or occur at over a shorter span of time.

A variety of mechanisms are utilized by plants in order to achieve these fast movements. Extremely fast movements such as the explosive spore dispersal techniques of Sphagnum mosses may involve increasing internal pressure via dehydration, causing a sudden propulsion of spores up or through the rapid opening of the "flower" opening triggered by insect pollination. Fast movement can also be expressed in predatory plants, where the mechanical stimulation of insect movement creates an electrical action potential and a release of elastic energy within the plant tissues. This release can be seen in the closing of a Venus flytrap, the curling of sundew leaves, and in the trapdoor action and suction of bladderworts.[3] Slower movement such as the folding of Mimosa pudica leaves may depend on reversible, but drastic or uneven changes in water pressure in the plant tissues[4] This process is controlled by the fluctuation of ions in and out of the cell, and the osmotic response of water to the ion flux.[5]

In 1880 Charles Darwin published The Power of Movement in Plants, his second-to-last work before his death.

Plants that capture and consume prey[edit]

Plants that move leaves and leaflets[edit]

Plants that are able to rapidly move their leaves or their leaflets in response to mechanical stimulation such as touch (thigmonasty):

Mimosa pudica leaves closing after being touched

Plants that move their leafs or leaflets at speeds rapid enough to be perceivable with the naked eye:

Plants that spread seeds or pollen by rapid movement[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Forterre, Y., J.M. Skotheim, J. Dumais & L. Mahadevan 2005. "How the Venus flytrap snaps" (PDF).  (318 KB) Nature 433: 421–425. doi:10.1038/nature03185
  2. ^ a b Taylor, P.E., G. Card, J. House, M. H. Dickinson & R.C. Flagan 2006. High-speed pollen release in the white mulberry tree, Morus alba L.. Sexual Plant Reproduction 19(1): 19–24. doi:10.1007/s00497-005-0018-9
  3. ^ Poppinga, Simon; Weisskopf, Carmen; Westermeier, Anna Sophia; Masselter, Tom; Speck, Thomas (2016-01-01). "Fastest predators in the plant kingdom: functional morphology and biomechanics of suction traps found in the largest genus of carnivorous plants". AoB PLANTS. 8. doi:10.1093/aobpla/plv140. PMC 4717191Freely accessible. PMID 26602984. 
  4. ^ Martone, Patrick T.; Boller, Michael; Burgert, Ingo; Dumais, Jacques; Edwards, Joan; Mach, Katharine; Rowe, Nick; Rueggeberg, Markus; Seidel, Robin (2010-11-01). "Mechanics without Muscle: Biomechanical Inspiration from the Plant World". Integrative and Comparative Biology. 50 (5): 888–907. doi:10.1093/icb/icq122. ISSN 1540-7063. 
  5. ^ Forterre, Yoël (2013-11-01). "Slow, fast and furious: understanding the physics of plant movements". Journal of Experimental Botany. 64 (15): 4745–4760. doi:10.1093/jxb/ert230. ISSN 0022-0957. 
  6. ^ JSTOR Global Plants Compilation:Aeschynomene americana
  7. ^ JSTOR Global Plants Compilation: Aeschynomene deightonii
  8. ^ Missouri Botanical Garden: Averrhoa carambola
  9. ^ JSTOR Global Plants Compilation: Biophytum abyssinicum
  10. ^ JSTOR Global Plants Compilation: Biophytum helenae
  11. ^ JSTOR Global Plants: Biophytum petersianum
  12. ^ JSTOR Global Plants Compilation: Biophytum reinwardtii
  13. ^ a b The Gardens' Bulletin Singapore 49 (1) (1997)
  14. ^ Tony D. Auld (1996). "Ecology of the Fabaceae in the Sydney region: fire, ants and the soil seedbank" (PDF). Cunninghamia. 4 (4): 531–551. 
  15. ^ Matt Lavin (2001). "Fabaceae". Macmillan Reference USA. 
  16. ^ "Marantaceae in Flora of North America @". Efloras.org. Retrieved 2011-07-18. 
  17. ^ Lophophora blog: Thigmotropic stamens