The stems of many plants resist buckling using low-density foam cores.
"Anyone who has squashed an empty metal can knows about the second form of buckling; it's called 'local buckling' or 'Brazier buckling...Local buckling does occur in biological columns--it's certainly involved in the lodging of slender crop plants in wind storms, and it can be deliberately induced in any dandelion stem. A low-density foam core reduces susceptibility, and many plants (but not dandelions!) have such cores." (Vogel 2003:378)
Learn more about this functional adaptation.
- Steven Vogel. 2003. Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World. Princeton: Princeton University Press. 580 p.
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