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Wind gusts and plant aeroelasticity effects on the aerodynamics of pollen shedding: A hypothetical turbulence-initiated wind-pollination mechanism

Wind gusts and plant aeroelasticity effects on the aerodynamics of pollen shedding: A hypothetical turbulence-initiated wind-pollination mechanism

Urzay, Javier, Llewellyn Smith, Stefan G., Thompson, Elinor and Glover, Beverley J. (2009) Wind gusts and plant aeroelasticity effects on the aerodynamics of pollen shedding: A hypothetical turbulence-initiated wind-pollination mechanism. Journal of Theoretical Biology, 259 (4). pp. 785-792. ISSN 0022-5193 (doi:10.1016/j.jtbi.2009.04.027)

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Abstract

Plant reproduction depends on pollen dispersal. For anemophilous (wind-pollinated) species, such as grasses and many trees, shedding pollen from the anther must be accomplished by physical mechanisms. The unknown nature of this process has led to its description as the ‘paradox of pollen liberation’. A simple scaling analysis, supported by experimental measurements on typical wind-pollinated plant species, is used to estimate the suitability of previous resolutions of this paradox based on wind-gust aerodynamic models of fungal-spore liberation. According to this scaling analysis, the steady Stokes drag force is found to be large enough to liberate anemophilous pollen grains, and unsteady boundary-layer forces produced by wind gusts are found to be mostly ineffective since the ratio of the characteristic viscous time scale to the inertial time scale of acceleration of the wind stream is a small parameter for typical anemophilous species. A hypothetical model of a stochastic aeroelastic mechanism, initiated by the atmospheric turbulence typical of the micrometeorological conditions in the vicinity of the plant, is proposed to contribute to wind pollination.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: [1] Available online: 13 May 2009. [2] Published in print: 21 August 2009. [3] Published as: Journal of Theoretical Biology, (2009), Vol. 259, (4), pp. 785–792.
Uncontrolled Keywords: aeroelasticity, wind pollination, pollen aerodynamics, plant biomechanics
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
Q Science > QK Botany
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Department of Life & Sports Sciences
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2016 15:01
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/4226

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