Moving with climbing plants from Charles Darwin\s time into the 21st Century
Isnard S; Silk W
American Journal of Botany
We provide an overview of research on climbing plants from Charles Darwin to the present day. Following Darwin ‚Äô s interests this review will focus on functional perspectives including attachment mechanisms and stem structure and function. We draw at- tention to a number of unsolved problems inviting future research. These include the mechanism for establishment of the twining habit a quantitative description following the development of a tissue element through space and time the chemistry of sticky exu- dates the microstructure of xylem and the capacity for water storage the vulnerability to embolism and the mechanism for em- bolism repair. In conclusion we cite evidence that in response to increasing CO 2 concentration anthropic perturbation and/ or increasing forest fragmentation lianas are increasing relative to tree species. In the 21st century we are returning to the multiscale multidisciplinary approach taken by Darwin to understand natural history.