Saturday, August 8, 2015

Grigg-Putnam Index

The Griggs-Putnam Index is one of several empirical methods of estimating the prevailing wind speed at a site by observing the growth patterns of trees. Strong winds will deform trees and shrubs so that they indicate an integrated record of the local wind speeds during their lives

IBrushing occurs when small branches bends downwards.
II-III-IVFlagging occurs when large branches bends downwards, and branches which are upwind are shorter than branches which are downwind.
V-VIThrowing occurs when the actual trunk of the tree curves downwind.
VIICarpeting occurs when the trunk grows along the ground.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Handling Steps for Durian Exported From Thailand : A Pictorial Guide

Elhadi M. Yahia, 2011, Postharvest Biology and Technology of Tropical and Subtropical Fruits, Volume 3, Woodhead Publishing, UK.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Seremban : Exotic Local Fruit

bacang, macang, horse mango
Mangifera foetida
Family : Anacardiaceae

Fruit 7-12cm x 9-16cm.  Exocarp dark green, yellowish when ripen, exude irritant latex when injured.    Mesocarp yellowish, fibrous, sourish, and pungent.   Bacang is almost identical to kuini ( Mangifera odorata ) in terms of shape and odour, except It’s extremely fibrous and sourish.

Fruit are consumed fresh or made into juice.  Immature bacang sometimes used in rojak mix, or made into prickle.  In some places, bacang is used as sour agent ( asam ) in cooking and chutney or sambal making.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Leptospermum brachyandrum vs Baeckea frutescens

Leptospermum brachyandrum
Common names : teatree, Australian willow
Family : Myrtaceae
Origin : costal New South Wales, Australia
Description : small tree, up to 5m in heights ; 
grows on wet soil, full sun or part shade. 

 Baeckea frutescens
Common names : cucur atap, curan atap, hujung atap, cina maki
Family : Myrtaceae
Origin : costal and mountainous Malaya & Sumatra
Description : small tree, up to 3m in heights ; 
grows on wide range of soil. 

Sunday, May 10, 2015


Thigmomorphogenesis is the response by plants to mechanical sensation ( wind, raindrops, rubbing by passing animals, etc ) by altering their growth patterns, which may include their canopy structure, growth rate, anatomy, morphology and mechanical strength of their wood. 

Thigmotropism is a movement in which a plant moves or grows in response to touch or contact stimuli, such as wall, pot, or trellis, etc.

Thigmonasty or seismonasty is the nastic response of a plant to touch or vibration.

Thigmotaxis is the movement of an organism toward or away from objects that provide a mechanical stimulus.

Friday, May 1, 2015


Thigmomorphogenesis is from the Greek words “thigma” which means ‘to touch’;  “morphê” shape and “genesis” creation.  Thus, thigmomorphogenesis is the response by plants to mechanical sensation by altering their growth patterns, which may include their canopy structure, growth rate, anatomy, morphology and mechanical strength of their wood.  The mechanical sensation can be evinced by wind, raindrops, and rubbing by passing animals.

The term ‘thigmomorphogenesis’ was first coined by Mordecai J. Jaffe. 1

Plant responses to mechanical sensation through reduction in the rate of stem elongation, increase of stem diameter resulting in shorter and stockier plants.  Other responses include alterations in chlorophyll content, hormone levels, biotic and abiotic stress resistance, pithiness, flowering time, senescence, and stomata aperture. 2

1. Lansing Funeral Home, 2007, The Lansing Star Online Obituaries, 14th October, L-Star Publishing, Inc,  NY.
2. Biddington NL.1986,  The Effects of Mechanically-Induced Stress in Plants : A Review. Plant Growth Regulation 1986;4:103-123.

Observations & Studies

Theophrastus, a Greek who succeeded Aristotle in the Peripatetic school, observed that trees growing in windy environments were shorted in heights, shorter internodes, more knots, less straights, closer grain, and harder wood.1

Charles Darwin reported a mechono-stimulus-induced plant behaviour, where roots reorient their growth direction upon making contact with barriers. 2

Free-swaying Pinus radiata trees grew more in diameter over the lower part of the trunk than stayed trees.3

Salisbury reported that repeated touching of leaves of young cocklebur plants caused a 30% inhibition in growth in addition to an increase in rate of leaf senescence. 4

Moderate shaking of Liquidambar trunks for 30 seconds daily reduced height growth to only 20 to 30 percent of that of trees not shaken.5

Young plants of Hordeum vulgare, Bryonia dioica, Cucumis sativus, Phaseolus vulgaris, Mimosa pudica and Ricinus communis show retardation of growth when given mechanical stimulus. 6

1. Theophrastus, 300 BCE, De Causis Plantarum (On the Causes of Plants)
2. Darwin & Darwin, 1881, The Power of Movement in Plants 
3. Jacobs, MR., 1954, The effect of wind sway on the form and development of Pinus radiata D. Don, Australian Journal of Botany 2(1) 35 - 51
4. Salisbury FB, 1963, The Flowering Process, New York, Macmillan.
5. Neel PL, Harris RW., 1971, Motion-induced inhibition of elongation and induction of dormancy in Liquidambar. Science. 1971 Jul 2;173(3991):58-9.
6. Jaffe MJ, 1973,  Thigmomorphogenesis  : The Response of Plant Growth and Development to Mechanical Stimulation : With Special Reference to Bryonia dioica ., Planta 1973 Jun ; 114(2):145-57. Doi:10.1007/BF000387472, 

Summary of structural changes in acclimation to windy environments :
·         Increase in MFA
·         Increase in grain angle
·         Increase in cell division in direction of flexing
·         Increase in wood density
·         Increase in lignification ( higher S:G )
·         Decrease in stiffness, more flexible

·         Shorter thicker stems ( Lower H:D )
·         Smaller leaves
·         Shorter internodes
·         Shorter branches
·         Thicker branch junctions
·         Streamlining

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Sarikei : Exotic Local Produce

Engkabang besar
Shorea macrophylla

Engkabang kechil

Engkabang bintang

buah empit
Pentaspodon motleyi

Castanopsis sp.

Passiflora foetida