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[Plant-education] cypress knees

Jensen, Douglas via plant-ed%40net.bio.net (by Doug.Jensen from Converse.edu)
Mon Apr 9 08:03:02 EST 2007

I have the same memory as both of you, but no references.  And yes, they
could have no adaptive function.

Personally, I doubt that the knees would add enough ballast to be
particularly effective.  However, I think they could function to
interlock the root systems of neighboring trees.  By doing that, a
cluster of trees would become very stable in a storm.  I haven't seen
this published, however.

Douglas P. Jensen
Assistant Professor and Chair of Biology
Converse College
Spartanburg, South Carolina, 29302
douglas.jensen from converse.edu

-----Original Message-----
From: plant-ed-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu
[mailto:plant-ed-bounces from oat.bio.indiana.edu] On Behalf Of Janice M.
Sent: Sunday, April 08, 2007 9:45 PM
To: Carrie DeJaco
Cc: Plant-ed from magpie.bio.indiana.edu
Subject: Re: [Plant-education] cypress knees

   I don't have the reference at hand, but your memory matches mine.
They were 
unable to show that cypress knees provided oxygen.  Some think they may
help to 
add ballast.  Perhaps they are a response with no adaptive value, like

Carrie DeJaco wrote:
> Anyone out there know the function of the "knees" of cypress trees in 
> swamps?  I had thought they were to relieve oxygen stress on the 
> waterlogged roots, but seem to remember hearing that that had been 
> disproven.  Any thoughts?
Dr. Janice Glime, Professor
President of IAB; Manager of Bryonet
Department of Biological Sciences
Michigan Technological University
1400 Townsend Dr.
Houghton, MI 49931 USA
email: jmglime from mtu.edu
phone: 906-487-2546
fax: 906-487-3167

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