- a branch, ptosis
- falling; it is sometimes pronounced with the p silent) refers to the phenomenon in botany
of the regular shedding of branches. It is the counterpart for branches of the familiar process of regular leaf shedding by deciduous trees
. As in leaf shedding, an abscission layer forms and the branch is shed cleanly.
Functions of cladoptosis
Cladoptosis is thought to have three possible functions, self-pruning (i.e. programmed plant senescence
), drought response (characteristic of xerophytes
) and liana
defence. Self-pruning refers to the shedding of branches that are shaded or diseased and so potentially a drain on the resources of the tree. Drought response is similar to the leaf-fall response of drought-deciduous trees; however, leafy shoots are shed in place of leaves. Western red cedar (Thuja plicata
) provides an example, as do other members of the family Cupressaceae
. In tropical forests infestation of tree canopies by woody climbers or lianas
can be a serious problem. Cladoptosis, to give a clean bole with no support for climbing plants, may be an adaptation against lianas, as in the case of Castilla
- K. V. Bhat, T. Surendran, K. Swarupanandan (1986). "Anatomy of Branch Abscission in Lagerstroemia microcarpa Wight". New Phytologist 103 (1): 177–183.
- Lorenza M. Bellani and Alessandro Bottacci (2004). "Anatomical studies of branchlet abscission related to crown modification in Quercus cerris L.". Trees 10 (1): 20–23.