Wollemi Pine’s Unique Plumbing

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Wollemi pine’s unique plumbing reported in <i>Annals of Botany</i>, vol 99, p609, April 2007 and Charles Sturt University News, 1 February 2007. The Wollemi pine tree has a distinctive umbrella shape because the branches from the trunk do not form secondary branches. Its leaves grow directly out of the main branches and the tree regularly sheds whole branches rather than dropping individual leaves.

Scientists at Charles Sturt University have studied the microscopic structure of the tree and found that a unique structure in its water conveying system gives it the distinctive shape and explains why the tree cleanly drops whole branches. At the base of each branch there is a tight constriction in the water channels going into the branches. This makes the branches much easier to shed.

Scientists argue this may appear to be a disadvantage as it limits the amount of water flowing into a branch, but it would not have been a problem in a warm moist environment with higher carbon dioxide levels. The scientists suggest that the constriction could explain why the tree has almost died out as Australia has become hotter and drier.

Editorial Comment: The Wollemi pine is proving very useful as evidence for the truth that God created plants "after their own kind (Gen 1:11). When first found it was proclaimed a living fossil, i.e. its fossils are the same as its living specimens and are therefore evidence it has reproduced after its kind. The fact that the tree has a unique plumbing system and branch structure reinforces the evidence that the Wollemi was created as a separate kind of tree.

Furthermore, the suggestion that the tree is suited for warm, moist environment with more carbon dioxide fits with the Biblical description of the world being "very good, with an atmosphere that had just the right amount of water and carbon dioxide in it to promote good tree growth. Experiments with plants tell us that a higher moisture and carbon dioxide levels suits plants better than our current atmosphere." (Ref. xylem, wood, Araucaria,)

Evidence News 13 June 2007

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