Superhydrophobicity Mechanism of Refoliated Quaking Aspen Leaves After Complete Defoliation by LDD (Gypsy, Spongy) Moth Caterpillars
Author ORCID Identifier
Jason Tam https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9221-4609
Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Complete defoliation of trees due to periodic LDD (Lymantria dispar dispar) moth outbreaks in many parts of the world is a significant stress factor for the survival of individual trees and entire forests over vast areas. This study addresses such a mid-summer defoliation event in Ontario, Canada for quaking aspen trees during 2021. It is shown that complete refoliation in the same year is possible for these trees, albeit with significantly smaller leaf size. Regrown leaves showed the well-known non-wetting behaviour typically observed for the quaking aspen tree without a defoliation event. These leaves have the same hierarchical dual-scale surface structure consisting of nanometre-size epicuticular wax (ECW) crystals superimposed on micrometre-sized papillae. This structure provides for the Cassie-Baxter non-wetting state with a very high water contact angle on the adaxial surface of the leaves. Subtle differences in the leaf surface morphology of the refoliation leaves compared with the regular growth leaves are likely due to environmental factors such as seasonal temperature during the leaf growth period after budbreak.
Sui, X., J. Tam, H. Keller, W. Liang, and U. Erb. 2023. Superhydrophobicity mechanism of refoliated quaking aspen leaves after complete defoliation by LDD (gypsy, spongy) moth caterpillars. Plant Science 330:111659.