For an explanation, see the main splats page
- Plants all have cellulose cell walls, higher plants form specialized tissues like aerenchyme and conductive tissues, and plant cells contain plastids.
- Plants get their energy by respiration of chemical stores, generally in the form of carbohydrates, to convert adenosine diphosphate to adenosine triphosphate.
- The minerals that plants need are absorbed by passive uptake as water which contains dissolved salts is drawn in from the soil by the root hairs.
- Plants have limitations and needs, such as water, light and minerals, and they compete with other plants for these, both by growing upwards, and chemically.
- Algae are very simple plants with common features in the ways they reproduce (always in water), and their comparative lack of specialized tissues.
- The green algae are a subset of the algae, linked loosely by the chemistry of their photosynthetic pigments and their habits, the ways they grow.
- Many of the lower plants such as mosses and ferns exhibit alternation of generations, with haploid and diploid forms, each giving rise to the other.
- Mosses and other bryophytes make a natural grouping because they have a number of traits (lack of conductive tissue, method of reproduction) in common.
- Ferns make a natural grouping, because they have similar features such as conductive tissue, and the life cycles seen in their reproductive methods.
- Gymnosperms (the pines and their relatives) make a natural grouping, because they grow in similar ways, are anatomically similar, and reproduce the same way.
- Higher plants have vascular tissue systems with phloem and xylem, which allows them to rise up off the ground, and get more energy from the Sun.
- Higher plants have complex leaf tissue systems, with an epidermis with stomates, and an inner area, rich in chloroplasts and air gaps to allow air access.
- Higher plants have root tissue systems which are able to gather in the water and minerals that the plant needs. Some roots have symbionts attached.
- Higher plants have growth areas within them: cambium and meristem in particular, where new cells are formed and differentiated into the needed tissues.
- Wood is a two-phase material, with lignin for rigidity and cellulose fibres for tensile strength, which plants need to get higher than other plants.
- Some plants are annual, growing through a complete cycle once a year (or more often in some cases), some are perennial, lasting for many years, like trees.
- Flowering plants or angiosperms may be divided into dicotyledons and monocotyledons, which have other traits such as the forms of leaves and roots in common.
- Angiosperms have different ways of getting pollen to travel from one plant to another, relying on wind, birds, insects, and even small mammals in some cases.
- Angiosperms have a variety of ways to spread their seeds to new areas, using wind, the digestive systems of animals, hooks and adhesives among other things.
- Angiosperms often hybridize outside their species though usually within their genus, but sometimes further afield, if tetraploid individuals occur.
- Higher plants have a range of tissue systems, with different types of cell in different parts, performing different functions to maintain the plant.
- At times of stress, the leaves of angiosperms drop off at the abscission layer, a point where the plant seals itself off to prevent undue water loss.
- Dying leaves are yellow because, before a leaf is dropped from a plant, most of the available nutrients are taken back into the plant, to be used again.
- Many angiosperms produce alkaloid poisons in their leaves to defend them against herbivores, and the herbivores need to evolve ways to deal with this.
- Angiosperms can also exchange genetic material outside species barriers when microbes carry genes into plants, a process called horizontal gene transfer.
- Angiosperms sometimes produce adventitious roots from branches, providing new sources of water and support for large trees, once the roots are established.
- Roots are used by plants to obtain water and minerals, generally from the soil, but roots also keep plants upright against the forces of gravity and wind.
- Plants can sense the down direction, and roots grow downwards, although once in the soil, the secondary roots of many plants will also grow towards water.
- Pollen fertilizes a flowering plant when a pollen tube grows down the style, so one of the nuclei can travel down the tube and fuse with a nucleus in the ovum.
- In the laboratory, plant hybrids can be created that cross species barriers, but the same process also happens in nature, and in agriculture.
- Many plants have spines or hairs on their leaves and stems to discourage herbivores from grazing on them, depriving the plant of water, energy and minerals.
- Over time, plants have evolved to produce chemicals that attract useful animals such as pollinators, while also making chemicals that repel potential predators.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/, first created on February 18, 2009. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 18, 2009.
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