18 October 2010

A contrary leaf


An interesting find during this evening's walk was this leaf with a peculiar color pattern. Most of the leaf had turned yellow, leaving behind patches of green between the veins.

This is one of those tree leaves that I find difficult to identify. It may be a hickory (Carya sp.). There are about 5 species that may be found in Maryland.

I don't know if this color pattern is characteristic of hickory leaves in the fall. I will look for more examples.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

I once read a blog entry describing how a certain kind of leaf miner was able to prolong the the feeding season by keeping the area green around the mine. Perhaps this is something to consider? What are the reddish spots in the green area?

Anonymous said...

The leaves of the Callery Pear street trees here in Manhattan often show an almost identical color pattern in the fall. I have always assumed it was normal for them, but I don't know that for sure.

Susan J. Hewitt

Anonymous said...

In the 24th April 2010 issue of New Scientist, in the "Last Word" section, which is inside the back cover of the magazine, someone from Norway asked about a leaf that had a similar kind of color pattern. As far as I know, NS has not published a reply to this yet.

Susan J. Hewitt

Anonymous said...

In the 26 March 2011 New Scientist, on the Last Word page, Peter Scott of Hove, East Sussex, wrote a reply to a question concerning a leaf very similar to this one.

Susan J. Hewitt

min said...

Phyllonorycter blancardella, the spotted tentiform leafminer moth, is able to induce these "green-island" phenotypes in apple leaves with the help of Wolbachia bacterial endosymbionts by increasing cytokinin levels in their mines and keeping the photosynthetic units (chlorophyll) alive! So cool!! You can see the larvae in the brown spots in the green.

This is the article from 2010 by Kaiser et al. explaining the discovery.

http://casas-lab.irbi.univ-tours.fr/Kaiser%20et%20al.%20Proceedings%20Royal%20Society%202010.pdf

I stumbled across your blog while looking for photos for a presentation I'm doing on it. Really interesting! Most of the green-island research only talks about apple species.. could be more common than they thought?!