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Biomechanical Tests of Aquatic Plant Stems: Techniques and Methodology

Author(s): A. M. Loboda; L. Przyborowski; M. Karpinski

Linked Author(s): Anna Maria LOBODA, Lukasz Przyborowski

Keywords: aquatic plants; bending test; tension test; biomechanics

Abstract: ABSTRACT: Six different aquatic plant species (Myriophyllum spicatum L., Potamogeton crispus L., Potamogeton pectinatus L., Ceratophyllum demersum L., Callitriche palustris L. and Elodea canadenis L. ) were collected from two lowland, sandy-bed rivers (the Wilga and the Swider), in order to conduct a series of biomechanical tests (three-point bending and tension). The tests were carried out to improve knowledge of the biomechanical properties of aquatic plant stems and to show problems with the techniques and methodology of such tests which have not been pointed out in previous works. These tests were made in dry and wet conditions with a benchtop materials testing machine. The differences between results obtained in different conditions are presented. Significant problems, such as choosing the right way to protect the ends of the sample from damage in the clamps of the device used and minimizing the time after removal of the sample from water for measurement, are discussed briefly. The diameter and cross-section of the stem, sample and gauge lengths were measured for each case. The conducted trial tests show that the diameter of the stem, its internal structure and the growth stages of plants are of great significance regarding the value of the measured forces. The obtained results could be crucial in identifying a relationship between plant biomechanics and flow resistance.


Year: 2016

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