Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the largest Phylum in the plant kingdom Plantae. These plants have true roots, stems, leaves, and flowers. The roots grow into the soil to anchor the plant in place and take up water and nutrients. The leaves are above ground and act as the main organs for photosynthesis. Stems provide above-ground support for the plant and operate as conduits to move nutrients and water throughout the plant. Flowers contain the male and female reproductive organs of the plant.
Plants develop specialized roots, stems, leaves, and flowers to make them better adapted to their environment. With the anatomical features described above in mind, do some research to find an angiosperm that has modified leaves, stems, roots or flowers that are structurally different from the norm, do not function in the normal manner, or that function in an unusual manner. For example, a cactus has spines in place of leaves. The spines help reduce water loss that would occur through a large, expanded leaf in a desert environment, and they also help to prevent herbivory.
- Browse through the pages in the following link to learn more about gymnosperms and angiosperms: Evolution of the Seed Plant.
- Watch this video to learn more about modified roots, stems and leaves: Modification of Root, Stem and Leaf.
Complete all of the following steps:
- Choose an angiosperm with at least 1 unusual organ, characteristic, modification, or adaptation.
- Describe the anatomy (structure) and physiology (function) of the angiosperm you chose.
- Explain the unusual characteristic(s) or modification(s) and how it differs from the standard root, stem, leaf, or flower.
- What benefit does the modification provide to the plant you chose?
- Research at least 1 other plant, or review posts made by your peers to devise a potentially advantageous new adaptation that would benefit your plant.
- Consider the environment, potential threats, and changing climate, and then come up with an adaptation that would further benefit your angiosperm. Explain the potential concern your plant will face and how your new adaptation would benefit the plant. For example, gypsy moth is an introduced species spreading west and south from New England. The caterpillars can strip all of the leaves from a maple tree but do not eat the waxy leaves of holly that produce a toxin, theobromine. If maple trees had waxy, toxic leaves like the holly, then they would be protected from these pests.
Utilize at least 1 credible source to support the arguments presented in your post.