Plant Adaptation

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Plant Adaptations

By Johanna McCormack

Calliergon gigantum (left), otherwise known as arctic moss, is adapted to the tundra because of its short height. The short height protects the plant from strong winds which occur in the Tundra. it can also grow underwater, which prevents dehydration, which is a big problem with alot of the water sources in the Tundra being frozen. The tundra has a short growing season, and artic moss has adapted by storing its nutrients when it isn't growing season.Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (right), or Bearberry, is also a short plant to prevent wind damage. The silky hairs on its stem and leathery leaves provide protection from the dangerous cold in the Tundra.

Abies balsamea (right), or balsam fir, has a shallow root system to catch water that has melted from the snow in the taiga, and its needles prevent water loss.Juniperus virginia (right), also known as the Eastern Red Cedar, is another taiga plant. The leaves on the top of the plant are longer to get more sunlight, and the needles prevent water loss as well.

Ficus Aurea (left), known as the strangler fig, is a hemiepiphyte. It begins living off of the ground on the branches of a tree, but the roots reach down, often killling the host. This adaptation allows the strangler fig to easily access light even as a sapling.Bougainvillea spectabilis (right) is a woody, thorned vine that can grow up to 12 meters high. The bougainvillea uses its thorns to climb trees towards sunlight, which is an adaptation to the rainforest.

The Andropogon gerardii (left) is known as bluestem grass. It grows in dense strands. This prevents other grasses from stealing the light in the grasslands. Bluestem grasses' deep roots keep it planted in the grassland soil.The Echinacea purpurea (right), or purple coneflower, can grow up to 3 feet tall. This adaptation allows it to grow higher than the other tall grasses to get sunlight in the grasslands. This plant also has deep roots to keep it planted.

The opuntia basilaris (top), or beavertail cactus, lives in the desert. It uses its tiny barbed bristles to defend itself from animals trying to eat it. It has an extensive but shallow root system to collect the little water that is in the desert and stores this water in its stem.The Argemone mexicana (bottom) is also known as the Mexican poppy. It is poisonous to animals and has spiny leaves, preventing it from being eaten. The Mexican poppy's small leaves and waxy coat prevents water loss in the dry biome.


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