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From dark to darkness, negative phototropism influences the support-tree location of the massive woody climber Hydrangea serratifolia (Hydrangeaceae) in a Chilean temperate rainforest

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Rodriguez-Quintero, WD; Moreno-Chac�n, M; Carrasco-Urra, F; Salda�a, A

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2022

PLANT SIGNALING & BEHAVIOR

17

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Climbing plants rely on suitable support to provide the light conditions they require in the canopy. Negative phototropism is a directional search behavior proposed to detect a support-tree, which indicates growth or movement away from light, based on light attenuation. In a Chilean temperate rainforest, we addressed whether the massive woody climber Hydrangea serratifolia (H. et A.) F. Phil (Hydrangeaceae) presents a support-tree location pattern influenced by light availability. We analyzed direction and light received in two groups of juvenile shoots: searching shoots (SS), with plagiotropic (creeping) growth vs. ascending shoots (AS), with orthotropic growth. We found that, in accordance with light attenuation, SS and AS used directional orientation to search and then ascend host trees. The light available to H. serratifolia searching shoots was less than that of the general forest understory; the directional orientation in both groups showed a significant deviation from a random distribution, with no circular statistical difference between them. Circular-linear regression indicated a relationship between directional orientations and light availability. Negative phototropism encodes the light environment's heterogeneous spatial and temporal information, guiding the shoot apex to the most shaded part of the support-tree base, the climbing start point.

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