Chapter 14 - Temperature: a driving variable for plant growth and development

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Fighting ice with ice! Alleviating frost damage in a New Zealand orchard with overhead sprinklers. Plant tissues encased in ice that is continuing to form will remain at 0°C, that is, just above the threshold for injury (see Colour Plate 52) (Photograph courtesy E.W. Hewett)

Habit is hereditary with plants, ... and this leads me to say a few words on acclimatisation. As it is extremely common for distinct species belonging to the same genus to inabit hot and cold countries, if it be true that all the species of the same genus are descended from a single parent-form, acclimatisation must be readily affected during a long course of descent. It is notorious that each species is adapted to the climate of its own home: species from an arctic or even from a temperate region cannot endure a tropical climate or conversely ... But whether or not this adaptation is in most cases very close, we have evidence with few plants, of their becoming, to a certain extent, naturally habituated to different temperatures; that is they become acclimatised: ...

(Charles Darwin, The Origin of Species, 1910 edition)