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Looking for info on the mechanical properties of plants.

Tony Travis ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Fri Feb 8 19:20:10 EST 2002

William Lee wrote:
> I am specifically looking for information about iris leaves, but any kind if
> grass or blade like structure would be helpful. Need to know if anyone has
> come up with a modulus of elasticity number for these kinds of structures

Hello, William.

I'm sure I will not be the only one here to point out that leaves are complex 
structures. You cannot reasonably approximate them to a simple 'beam' under load 
etc. They have evolved a complicated anatomy and microstructure that provides 
them with mechanical strength and flexibility as well as the capacity to grow.

Read "Plant Biomechanics, An Engineering Approach to Plant Form and Function", 
by Karl J. Niklas, The University of Chicago Press (ISBN 0-226-58641-6) pp. 
131-132, for a detailed explanation of how different plant tissue within an 
organ such as a leaf or stem respond to mechanical stress. The water status of 
the plant tissue is also an important determinant of its mechanical properties.

Dr. A.J.Travis,                     |  mailto:ajt at rri.sari.ac.uk
Rowett Research Institute,          |    http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/~ajt
Greenburn Road, Bucksburn,          |   phone:+44 (0)1224 712751
Aberdeen AB2 9SB, Scotland, UK.     |     fax:+44 (0)1224 716687

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