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Hydrodynamic modelling study of angiosperm leaf venation types

, : Hydrodynamic modelling study of angiosperm leaf venation types. Botanica Acta 108(2): 121-126

The morphology of leaf venation has been studied repeatedly and various systems have been proposed for the classification of the observed leaf venation patterns. Almost nothing is known, however, about the functional properties of the various venation types. Using a computer modelling approach we analysed the water transport properties of typical craspedodromous and brochidodromous venation patterns. The water transport through the leaf and the veins was modelled as a fluid flow through a porous medium and the mathematical model was solved with the Finite Element Method. The simulations illustrate that the leaf margin represents a critical region in terms of water supply. The results provide a plausible functional explanation for three well known phenomena: 1) the correlation between craspedodromous venation and the formation of leaf teeth; 2) the fact that craspedodromous venation is more common in temperate than in tropical regions and 3) the fact that xeromorphic leaves tend to have more closed venation.


DOI: 10.1111/j.1438-8677.1995.tb00841.x

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