B1 4.3 Adaptation in plants

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What do plants need to survive?
Light , water, space and nutrients
Where can plants not grow?
In deep oceans where no light penetrates so plants cant photosynthesis and in the icy wastes of the Antarctic is simply too cold for plants to grow
Even in hot, dry areas if the world plants grow, without them what would happen?
There would be no food for the animals but plants need water for photosynthesis and to keep their tissues supported if a plant doesnt get the water it needs, it wilts and eventually dies.
What are the small openings in the leaves of a plant and what do they do?
Stomata these open to allow gases in and out for photosynthesis and respiration. At the same time water vapour is lost through the stomata by evaporation.
What is the rate at which a plant loses water linked to?
The conditions its growing in. When it is hot and dry photosynthesis and respiration take place quickly. As a result, plants also lose water vapour very quickly.
Plants lose water vapour very quickly, what special adaptations do plants that live in very hot, dry conditions need?
Most of them either reduce their surface area so they lose less water or store water in there tissues. Some do both.
When it comes to stopping water loss through the leaves how is the surface area:volume ratio important to plants?
A few desert plants have broad leaves with a large surface area. These leaves collect the dew that forms in the cold evenings. Then they funnel the water towards their shallow roots.
Some plants in dry environments have curled leaves how does this benefit them?
This reduces the surface area of the leaf it also traps a layer of moist air around the leaf. This reduces the amount of water the plant loses by evaporation.
Most plants that live in dry conditions have leaves with a very small surface area, what does this adaptation do?
Cuts down the area from which water can be lost. Some desert plants have small fleshy leaves with a thick cuticle to keep water loss down. The cuticle is a waxy covering on the leaf that stops water evaporating.
How have cacti desert plants adapted?
Their leaves have been reduced to spines with a very small surface area indeed. This means the cactus only loses a tiny amount of water. Not only that, its sharp spines also put animals off eating cactus.
How are many plants that live in dry conditions root systems specially adapted?
They may have extensive root systems that spread over a wide area, roots that go down a long way, or both. These adaptations allow the plant to take up as much water as possible from the soil. The mesquite tree has roots that grow as far as 50m down into soil.
Some plants cope with dry conditions by storing water in their tissues, so what do they do?
When there is plenty of water after rain the plant stores it. Some plants use their fleshy leaves to store water. Others use their stems or roots.
Whats an example of a plant that stores water to help it cope with dry conditions?
Cacti, the fat green body of a cactus is its stem, which is full of water-storing tissue. These adaptations make cacti the most successful plants in a hot, dry climate.