UCL Discovery
UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

The mechanical stability of the world’s tallest broadleaf trees

Disney, M; Jackson, T; Shenkin, A; Majalap, N; bin Jami, U; bin Sailim, A; Reynolds, G; ... Malhi, Y; + view all (2020) The mechanical stability of the world’s tallest broadleaf trees. Biotropica 10.1111/btp.12850. (In press). Green open access

[thumbnail of Disney_btp.12850.pdf]
Preview
Text
Disney_btp.12850.pdf - Published version

Download (785kB) | Preview

Abstract

The factors that limit the maximum height of trees, whether ecophysiological or mechanical, are the subject of longstanding debate. Here, we examine the role of mechanical stability in limiting tree height and focus on trees from the tallest tropical forests on Earth, in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo, including the recently discovered tallest tropical tree, a 100.8 m Shorea faguetiana named Menara. We use terrestrial laser scans, in situ strain gauge data and finite element simulations, to map the architecture of tall tropical trees and monitor their response to wind loading. We demonstrate that a tree's risk of breaking due to gravity or self‐weight decreases with tree height and is much more strongly affected by tree architecture than by material properties. In contrast, wind damage risk increases with tree height despite the larger diameters of tall trees, resulting in a U‐shaped curve of mechanical risk with tree height. Our results suggest that the relative rarity of extreme wind speeds in north Borneo may be the reason it is home to the tallest trees in the tropics. Abstract in MALAY is available with online material.

Type: Article
Title: The mechanical stability of the world’s tallest broadleaf trees
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1111/btp.12850
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1111/btp.12850
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 The Authors. Biotropica published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: biomechanics, Danum Valley, gravitational stability, maximum tree height, Menara, terrestrial laser scanning (TLS), wind damage
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10108174
Downloads since deposit
35Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item