Monday, 16 April 2018

Clever Eucalyptus Sweats to Keep Cool

Some trees use a clever strategy to keep cool.

Joel Kontinen

Trees are much more sophisticated than we would expect. They communicate with each other and sleep at night.

They have their own wood wide web (www) through which they share information.

Flowering plants are almost as clever; they have their e-mail system through which they engage in shoot to root communication.

And a recent study suggests that at least one eucalyptus species “sweats” to keep cool during heatwaves.

Ecologist John Drake at the S.U.N.Y. College of Environmental Science and Forestry and colleagues reported on this unexpected behaviour in the journal Global Change Biology.

High temperatures are thought to reduce photosynthesis, but instead of overheating these trees thrived although the temperature rose to 44 degrees Celsius (111 Fahrenheit).

We can’t thank dumb Darwinian mechanisms for these intelligent approaches.


Saplakoglu, Yasemin. 2018. Trees Sweat to Keep Cool. Scientific American (May 2018).