Fire-resistant plants: A Review of Plant Morphology, Tissues, Habits, Ecological Adaptations, and Other Factors Contributing to Bioderived Environmental Solutions and Technologies

Henry A. Colorado1,Email

Joshua M. Henkin2,3,Email

1CCComposites Laboratory, Universidad de Antioquia UdeA, Calle 70 No. 52-21, Medellín, Colombia.

2Department of Botany (Department of Science and Education), Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago, IL, 60605, USA.

3Department of Plant Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901, USA.

Abstract

This review represents an investigation of fire-resistant plants through the areas of materials and characterization, discussing and exploring the implications of their unique properties in several applications, materials solutions, pollution, and perspectives on these plants. The main goals are identifying promising fire-resistant plants from published research with potential applications in engineering and exploring their potential properties in engineering applications including biomimetics. First, Carrot2, a results search clustering engine was used to create inclusion criteria and categories for examining the past five years of fire-resistant plant research, materials science-related and otherwise. From these papers analyzed nearly half of research was agricultural or environmental science in nature, with topics and applications in chemistry, engineering, materials science, representing less than 10% each. The unique properties and mechanisms of fire-resistant plants can be classified in areas such as plant architecture, microstructure, and constituent materials, which were discussed. Specifically, the relevance of silica, trichomes (plant hairs), tissue organization, biopolymers, and indigenous knowledge of plants are examined , with an eye towards biomimetics and as inspired structures for engineering as well as in solving pollution/waste disposal and housing/sustainable architecture. Practical considerations, hypotheses to be tested, and conclusions are synthesized, always keeping in mind the intersection of fire-resistant plants and materials science.

Fire-resistant plants: A Review of Plant Morphology, Tissues, Habits, Ecological Adaptations, and Other Factors Contributing to Bioderived Environmental Solutions and Technologies