Motions of leaves and stems, from growth to potential use

Mathieu Riviere, Julien Derr, Stéphane Douady

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The study on aerial plant organs (leaves and stems) motions is reviewed. The history of observations and studies is put in the perspective of the ideas surrounding them, leading to a presentation of the current classification of these motions. After showing the shortcomings of such a classification, we present, following an idea of Darwin's, the various movements in a renewed and observation-based perspective of the plant development. With this perspective, the different movements fit together logically, and in particular we point out that the mature reversible movements, such as the sensitive or circadian movements, are just partial regressions of the developmental ones.

Original languageEnglish
Article number051001
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 21 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • autotropism
  • nastic motions
  • Nutation
  • plant movements
  • prefoliation
  • proprioception
  • tropisms


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