Critical review on the mechanisms of maturation stress generation in trees

Abstract : Trees control their posture by generating asymmetric mechanical stress around the periphery of the trunk or branches. This stress is produced in wood during the maturation of the cell wall. When the need for reaction is high, it is accompanied by strong changes in cell organization and composition called reaction wood, namely compression wood in gymnosperms and tension wood in angiosperms. The process by which stress is generated in the cell wall during its formation is not yet known, and various hypothetical mechanisms have been proposed in the literature. Here we aim at discriminating between these models. First, we summarize current knowledge about reaction wood structure, state and behaviour relevant to the understanding of maturation stress generation. Then, the mechanisms proposed in the literature are listed and discussed in order to identify which can be rejected based on their inconsistency with current knowledge at the frontier between plant science and mechanical engineering.
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Tancrède Alméras, Bruno Clair. Critical review on the mechanisms of maturation stress generation in trees. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, the Royal Society, 2016, 13 (122), pp.20160550. ⟨10.1098/rsif.2016.0550⟩. ⟨hal-01392832⟩

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