The effects of
different environmental conditions on the wetting properties and surface
morphology of surperhydrophobic quaking aspen leaves harvested
during the 2011 growth season are examined. During this particular season quaking
aspen leaves were not able to retain their superhydrophobic properties and
associated surface structure features as they have usually been able to
do in other years. Representative scanning electron microscopy images and
wetting property measurements of quaking aspen leaf surfaces harvested
throughout this season are presented and discussed with the objective of
linking weather induced environmental stresses that occurred in 2011 to the
sudden and unusual reduction in non-wetting properties and drastic changes in
leaf surface structure. Erosion and regeneration rates of leaf wax crystals and the
impact that environmental factors can have on these are considered and used to
explain the occurrence of these unexpected changes.
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