Plants adapt to different climates by modifying their leaves or stems or by shedding their leaves en masse in the fall and going dormant during the winter when there is less water available. They may also have root systems and reproductive strategies that are adapted to the climate.
Succulent plants have several strategies that help them live in climates that are often hot and dry. Their leaves and stems tend to be thick and fleshy because they are used to store water. Some may have tiny or absent leaves, with stems that do the work of photosynthesis. Some of these plants also store water in their roots so that they can die back during prolonged droughts and revive when rain returns.
Plants may also have hairs or spines that cut down on the amount of air around them and reduce water loss by evaporation. Their roots may be shallow in order to take advantage of sparse rainfall or even dew.
Botanists believe deciduous trees shed their leaves in the fall to conserve water. Just before the leaves fall, the tree takes in nutrients from the leaves. Many deciduous trees use their leafless state to blossom in early spring. This makes it easier for any wind to pollinate the flowers.Learn More
The first types of plant to adapt to land were the ancestors of green algae. They adapted through the evolution of body support, transport of materials such as water, fertilization, and the development of the embryo.Full Answer >
The National Snow and Ice Data Center explains that different species of plants adapt to cold weather in a variety of ways, such as growing in forms that shed snow readily or by retaining dead leaves to help insulate the plant. Unlike birds and other animals that can migrate to avoid harsh winter weather, plants must find a way to cope with the cold temperatures without leaving.Full Answer >
The few plants that grow in a tundra biome have adapted by remaining dormant in the long, extremely cold winter season and taking advantage of the short summer months to grow and propagate. The plants have shallow roots, are able to perform photosynthesis even in cold temperatures and have small leaf structures.Full Answer >
Desert plants strengthen and maximize their chances of survival in arid environments through behavioral and physical adaptation mechanisms. Much like desert animals, desert plants such as cactus, agave and owl's clover practice different but effective adaptive strategies, including drought tolerance, succulence and drought avoidance. These techniques enable indigenous organisms to survive and thrive in an arid desert, though these same mechanisms also prevent them from adapting in a different environment.Full Answer >