Eucalyptus regnans is a tree species that belongs to the Myrtaceae family. It is the tallest species among the eucalyptus species and it is among the tallest tree species in the world (Sands, 2005). It is an angiosperm and just like other angiosperms E. regnans is adapted to its environment through structural modification. They are native to Australia and they are commonly found in mountainous regions (Sands, 2005).
One of its structural modifications involves release of numerous seeds which enables the tree to survive in the Australian forests which are prone to both natural and wild fires. These seeds are hard and woody which enables them to survive in the environment for long while waiting for fire which creates extremely hot conditions which splits the seeds thus making them viable and thus they are able to germinate (Sands, 2005). This means that the only way that the tree species can propagate is under the hot conditions created by fires.
Related to this, the E.regnans trees are adapted to their fire prone environment by being structurally modified so that they can be flammable during fires and this is by having their leaves covered with volatile oils (Sands, 2005). The other adaptation is that since the trees are very tall, their xylems have been modified to acquire tapering shapes and this enables water to reach the highest parts of the trees efficiently (Petit & Pfautsch, 2010). This structural modification enables the trees to grow fast in order to acquire their unusual height (Petit & Pfautsch, 2010).
Another adaptation is related to the roots where the E. regnans tree species have an extensive root system which enables the trees to survive in low nutrient soils (Petit & Pfautsch, 2010). This is by ensuring that they absorb maximum nutrients.
Petit, G. & Pfautsch, S. (2010). The challenge of tree height in Eucalyptus regnans: When xylem tapering overcomes hydraulic resistance. New Phytologist, 187(4), 1146-1153.
Sands, R. (2005). Forestry in a global context. Cambridge, MA: CABI Publishing.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 23 September 2016
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