How Did the Swiss Cheese Plant Get Its Holes?

  title={How Did the Swiss Cheese Plant Get Its Holes?},
  author={Christopher D. Muir},
  journal={The American Naturalist},
  pages={273 - 281}
  • C. Muir
  • Published 26 December 2012
  • Environmental Science
  • The American Naturalist
Adult leaf fenestration in “Swiss cheese” plants (Monstera Adans.) is an unusual leaf shape trait lacking a convincing evolutionary explanation. Monstera are secondary hemiepiphytes that inhabit the understory of tropical rainforests, where photosynthesis from sunflecks often makes up a large proportion of daily carbon assimilation. Here I present a simple model of leaf-level photosynthesis and whole-plant canopy dynamics in a stochastic light environment. The model demonstrates that leaf… 
What determines a leaf's shape?
The underlying factors governing these processes are inherently genetic: PIN1 and KNOX1 are indicators of leaf initiation, HD-ZIPIII, KANADI, and YABBY specify leaf outgrowth while ANGUSTIFOLIA3 and GROWTH-REGULATING FACTOR5 control leaf expansion and maturation; besides, recent research has identified new players such as APUM23, known to specify leaf polarity.
Think tank: water relations of Bromeliaceae in their evolutionary context
A synthesis of the current knowledge on bromeliad water relations and a qualitative model of the evolution of relevant traits in the context of the functional types is presented, which is used to introduce a manifesto for a new research programme on the integrative biology and evolution of bromliad water-use strategies.
Caterpillar and Other Herbivore Feeding Damage Mimicry as Defense
I will begin the detailed discussion of defensive animal mimicry by plants with the mimicry of animal feeding damage, because it was my first hypothesis on visual anti-herbivory defense in plants. I
Variations Due to Leaf Abiotic and Biotic Factors
The term “stress” was defined by Jackson (1986) as any disturbance that adversely influences plant growth. Various types of stress can be caused by abiotic (water deficit, nutrient deficiency,
Artificial Trees Inspired by Monstera for Highly Efficient Solar Steam Generation in Both Normal and Weak Light Environments
Solar steam generation has been extensively studied for its potential application in power generation and water treatment. Although some efficient evaporators have been developed, the challenge of
Leaf Optical Properties
This book reviews the state-of-the-art research on leaf optics, providing the necessary foundations in physics, chemistry and biology to make the context accessible to readers from various subject backgrounds.
Leaf Optical Properties in Different Wavelength Domains
This chapter describes the optical properties of leaves at the epidermis and how, to a large extent, the anatomical and morphological structure of the epidermis moderates, controls, and influences
Applications of Leaf Optics
Applications of leaf spectroscopy have many different end uses. Leaf level information is crucial to quantify the state of physiological processes, for example the energy budget and transpiration. It
Kirigami design and fabrication for biomimetic robotics
How smart materials, including electroactive polymers and shape memory polymers, can be used to realise effective biomimetic components for robotic, deployable structures and engineering systems is examined.
Spectroscopy of Leaf Molecules
This chapter provides the basis for the absorption and internal scattering properties of leaves derived from theoretical spectroscopy of various chemical components. The absorption of electromagnetic


Leaf mottling: relation to growth form and leaf phenology and possible role as camouflage.
It is proposed that mottling may serve to camouflage the foliage of certain groups of shortstatured forest herbs, by disrupting their outline as perceived by colour-blind vertebrate herbivores in sun-dappled understoreys.
The evolution and functional significance of leaf shape in the angiosperms.
The evolutionary context of leaf shape diversification is reviewed, the proximal mechanisms that generate the diversity in extant systems are discussed, and the evidence for each the above hypotheses is considered in the context of the functional significance of Leaf shape.
Hydraulic architecture of Monstera acuminata: evolutionary consequences of the hemiepiphytic growth form
The features of the hydraulic architecture of M. acuminata may be an evolutionary consequence of an anatomical constraint (lack of vascular cambium and therefore of secondary growth) and the special requirements of the hemiepiphytic growth form.
Hydraulic limitations imposed by crown placement determine final size and shape of Quercus rubra L. leaves
Analysis of ontogenetic changes of both the degree of lobing and vein density in Quercus rubra demonstrates that leaves throughout the crown are identical in size and shape at the time of bud break, resulting in a water transport system well suited to the low evaporative rates near the bottom of the crown, but inadequate for the conditions found at the top of the tree.
Differentiation of leaf water flux and drought tolerance traits in hemiepiphytic and non-hemiepiphytic Ficus tree species
A trade-off between leaf water flux capacity and leaf drought tolerance across these hemiephiphytic and non-hemiepip Hytic Ficus tree species is indicated.
Not so simple after all: searching for ecological advantages of compound leaves
While it remains unclear what the advantages of having one leaf type over another might be, the differences do not seem to lie in construction, or in vulnerability to herbivores, at least in the Australian Wet Tropics.
Alternative modes of leaf dissection in monocotyledons
Although a majority of monocotyledons have simple leaves, pinnately or palmately dissected blades are found in four orders, the Alismatales, Pandanales, Dioscoreales and Arecales. Independent
Herbivory and the evolution of leaf size and shape
There is an urgent need for studies specifically designed to investigate the im pact of herbivores on leaf size and shape.
Sizes and Shapes of Liane Leaves
Two evolutionary models to account for ecological patterns in the size and shape of vine leaves are developed, which predict large, cordate-based leaves with long petioles are favored in sunny situations, while small, narrow-based Leaves with short petiole areavored in more shady environments.
Potential carbon gain of shingle leaves in juveniles of the vine Monstera tenuis (Araceae) in Costa Rica.
Modeling based on measured photosynthetic light responses and light interception suggests that at 1 m height, 75% more carbon could be gained if leaves were horizontal instead of vertical.