an abscission scar on the trunk of Castilla where a branch has been shed

Cladoptosis (Greek: clados - a branch, ptosis - falling; it is sometimes pronounced with the p silent) refers to the phenomenon in botany of the regular shedding of branches.[1] 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.

See also


  1. ^ Jim Hole (2005). "Cladoptosis". Retrieved 2007-01-14. 
  • K. V. Bhat, T. Surendran, K. Swarupanandan (1986). "Anatomy of Branch Abscission in Lagerstroemia microcarpa Wight". New Phytologist 103 (1): 177–183. doi:10.1111/j.1469-8137.1986.tb00606.x. 
  • 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. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • cladoptosis — /klad op toh sis, klay dop /, n. Bot. the annual shedding of twigs or branches instead of leaves, as in certain cypresses. [1880 85; CLADO + PTOSIS] * * * …   Universalium

  • cladoptosis — noun The regular shedding branches by a plant, for clonal reproduction, self pruning or in response to stress …   Wiktionary

  • cladoptosis — clad·op·to·sis …   English syllables

  • cladoptosis —   n. annual shedding of twigs …   Dictionary of difficult words

  • cladoptosis — …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cupressaceae — Cupressus sempervirens foliage and cones Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae …   Wikipedia

  • Fragmentation (reproduction) — There is a separate article about habitat fragmentation. Fragmentation or Clonal Fragmentation is a form of asexual reproduction or cloning where an organism is split into fragments. The splitting may or may not be intentional. Each of these… …   Wikipedia

  • Castilla (plant) — Taxobox name = Castilla image width = 240px image caption = Castilla elastica regnum = Plantae divisio = Magnoliophyta classis = Magnoliopsida ordo = Rosales familia = Moraceae genus = Castilla genus authority = Cerv. subdivision ranks = Species… …   Wikipedia