Thigmo What? Thigmomorphogenesis! How Trees Respond to Wind.. — International Society of Arboriculture

Thigmo What? Thigmomorphogenesis! How Trees Respond to Wind.. (#13)

Frank W. Telewski 1
  1. W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, USA

 The influence wind has on tree growth and form has been recorded in our art and literature for millennia.  However, it has only been the past two centuries that science has addressed the mechanisms and quantified the results of these alterations in growth and determined how they help trees survive in windy environments.  This talk will take a brief look back at the history of wind and trees and then focus on the how and why of tree responses to mechanical stress including wind (thigmomorphogenesis).  This will include quantifying the effect on morphology, allometry, anatomy, and wood mechanical properties (Telewski 1995, 2006, 2012).  Finally, a review of how a tree perceives the mechanical load of the wind, ice or snow will be presented (Telewski 2006).  The topic of wind and tree biomechanics was also the focus of the recent Tree Biomechanics Summit (Dahle et al. 2014). So hold on to your hats, this could be a long-winded talk!

  1. Telewski, F.W. 1995. Wind Induced Physiological and Developmental Responses in Trees. IN: "Wind and Trees". M.P. Coutts and J. Grace, eds. pp. 237-263. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge
  2. Telewski, F. W. 2006. A unified hypothesis of mechanoperception in plants. American Journal of Botany. 93:1306-1316
  3. Telewski, F.W. 2012. Is windswept tree growth negative Thigmotropism? Plant Science 184:20-28
  4. Dahle, G., Grabosky, J., Kane, B., Miesbauer, J., Peterson, W., Telewski, F.W., Koeser, A., Watson, G.,2014. Tree Biomechanics: A White Paper from the 2012 International Meeting and Research Summit at the Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL, US). Arboriculture & Urban Forestry 40(6):309-318