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Abstract Detail

Anatomy and Morphology

Griffin, Brandi [1], Anderson, Corey Devin [1].

The biomechanics and functional morphology of Tillandsia usneoides based on tension tests, morphometrics, and three dimesional reconstruction.

The functional morphology and biomechanics of the pendant epiphyte Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) has never been determined with strong support and/or resolution. In this study, tension tests, morphometrics, and three-dimensional reconstructions were used to elucidate the form and function of the nodal region in T. usneoides. Tension tests revealed the internode is up to four orders of magnitude stronger than the node. Regression analyses of the tension data showed a decrease in the strength of nodes with flowers, and a decrease in node strength with larger cross-sectional areas. However, node strength increased with an increase in node position. The morphometric data regression analyses showed the cross-section area of the sclerotized tensile core does not change significantly regarding node position. Spanish moss defies the conventional wisdom that for an increase in cross-sectional area there will be an increase in strength, or that for an increase in sclerification there would be an increase in strength. Instead strength seems to be a function of age, here examined as node position. The 3D reconstruction identified the fracture point morphology in this tensile-loaded plant. This combination of qualitative and quantitative analyses could lead to new technologies inspired by biological solutions for tension loaded materials.

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1 - Valdosta State University, Biology, 116 Varnedoe Street, Valdosta, GA, 31601, United States

Tension tests
Tillandsia usneoiedes

Presentation Type: Poster
Session: P, Anatomy and Morphology Posters
Location: Arizona Ballroom/Starr Pass
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2019
Time: 5:30 PM This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PAM001
Abstract ID:200
Candidate for Awards:None

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