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Encyclopedia > Xerophyte

A xerophyte or xerophytic organism (xero meaning dry, phyte meaning plant) is a plant which is able to survive in an ecosystem with little available water or moisture, usually in environments where potential evapotranspiration exceeds precipitation for all or part of the growing season. Plants like the cactus and other succulents are typically found in deserts where low rainfall amounts are the norm, but xerophytes such as the bromeliads can also be found in moist habitats such as tropical forests, exploiting niches where water supplies are limited or too intermittent for mesophytic plants. Plants that live under arctic conditions may also have a need for xerophytic adaptations, as water is unavailable for uptake when the ground is frozen. Their leaves are covered with silvery hairs (creates wind break & light reflective surface). For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of evaporation and plant transpiration. ... Subfamilies Cactoideae Maihuenioideae Opuntioideae Pereskioideae See also taxonomy of the Cactaceae A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is any member of the succulent plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas. ... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... Mesophytes are terrestrial plants which are adapted to neither a particularly dry nor particularly wet environment. ...


Adaptations of xerophytes include reduced permeability of the epidermal layer, stomata and cuticle to maintain optimal amounts of water in the tissues by reducing transpiration, adaptations of the root system to acquire water from deep underground sources or directly from humid atmospheres (as in epiphytic orchids), and succulence, or storage of water in swollen stems, leaves or root tissues. The typical morphological consequences of these adaptations are collectively called xeromorphisms. Look up Epidermis in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This is not about surgically created bowel openings; see stoma (medicine) In botany, a stoma (also stomate; plural stomata) is a tiny opening or pore, found mostly on the undersurface of a plant leaf, and used for gas exchange. ... Plant cuticles are a protective waxy covering produced only by the epidermal cells (Kolattukudy, 1996) of leaves, young shoots and all other aerial plant organs. ... An example of an epiphyte assemblage of orchids and bromeliads in a garden setting The term epiphyte refers to any plant that grows upon or attached to another living plant. ... Orchid re-directs here; for alternate uses see Orchid (disambiguation) Genera Over 800 See List of Orchidaceae genera. ... Succulent plants, such as this Aloe, store water in their fleshy leaves Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to xerophilic climatic or soil conditions. ... The term morphology in biology refers to the outward appearance (shape, structure, colour, pattern) of an organism or taxon and its component parts. ...

Mechanism Adaptation Example
Limit water loss waxy stomata prickly pear
few stomata
sunken stomata pine
stomata open at night tea plant
CAM photosynthesis cactus
large hairs on surface Bromeliads
curled leaves esparto grass
Storage of water succulent leaves Bryophyllum
succulent stems Euphorbia
fleshy tuber Raphionacme
Water uptake deep root system Acacia
below water table Nerium oleander
laterally extensive, shallow root systems cactus
absorbing surface moisture from leaf hairs or trichomes Tillandsia

This is not about surgically created bowel openings; see stoma (medicine) In botany, a stoma (also stomate; plural stomata) is a tiny opening or pore, found mostly on the undersurface of a plant leaf, and used for gas exchange. ... Species Many, see text Opuntia is a genus in the cactus family Cactaceae. ... This is not about surgically created bowel openings; see stoma (medicine) In botany, a stoma (also stomate; plural stomata) is a tiny opening or pore, found mostly on the undersurface of a plant leaf, and used for gas exchange. ... Subgenera Subgenus Strobus Subgenus Ducampopinus Subgenus Pinus See Pinus classification for complete taxonomy to species level. ... Binomial name Camellia sinensis (L.) Kuntze Camellia sinensis is the tea plant, the plant species whose leaves and leaf buds are used to produce tea. ... Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) is a carbon fixation pathway in some photosynthetic plants. ... Subfamilies Cactoideae Maihuenioideae Opuntioideae Pereskioideae See also taxonomy of the Cactaceae A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is any member of the succulent plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas. ... Genera See text Bromeliads include epiphytes, such as Spanish moss, and ground plants, such as the Pineapple. ... Leaves are an Icelandic five-piece alternative rock band who came to prominence in 2002 with their debut album, Breathe, drawing comparisons to groups such as Coldplay and Doves. ... Binomial name (L.) Kunth. ... Bryophyllum (from the Greek bryo/bryein = sprout, phyllon = leaf) is a genus of plants belonging to the family Crassulaceae. ... Stem showing internode and nodes plus leaf petiole and new stem rising from node. ... This article needs cleanup. ... For fungal genus, see tuber (genus). ... For other uses, see Root (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Acacia (disambiguation). ... Cross section showing the water table varying with surface topography as well as a perched water table The water table or phreatic surface is the surface where the water pressure is equal to atmospheric pressure. ... For other uses, see Oleander (disambiguation). ... Subfamilies Cactoideae Maihuenioideae Opuntioideae Pereskioideae See also taxonomy of the Cactaceae A cactus (plural: cacti, cactuses, or cactus) is any member of the succulent plant family Cactaceae, native to the Americas. ... Trichomes, from the Greek meaning growth of hair, are fine outgrowths or appendages on plants and protists. ... Species See text. ...

Importance of water conservation

If the water potential inside the leaf is higher than outside the leaf, the water vapour will diffuse out of the leaf down this gradient. This loss of water vapour from the leaves is called transpiration, and the water vapour diffuses through open stomata in the leaf. Although this is a normal and important process in all plants, it is vital that plants living in dry conditions have adaptations that decrease this water potential gradient, and decrease the size of open stomata, in order to reduce water loss from the plant. It is important for a plant living in these conditions to conserve water because without enough water, plant cells lose turgor and the plant tissue wilts. If the plant loses too much water, it will pass its permanent wilting point, where the plant will die. This does not cite any references or sources. ... diffusion (disambiguation). ... Transpiration is the evaporation of excess water from aerial parts and of plants, especially leaves but also stems, flowers and fruits. ... This is not about surgically created bowel openings; see stoma (medicine) In botany, a stoma (also stomate; plural stomata) is a tiny opening or pore, found mostly on the undersurface of a plant leaf, and used for gas exchange. ... A biological adaptation is an anatomical structure, physiological process or behavioral trait of an organism that has evolved over a period of time by the process of natural selection such that it increases the expected long-term reproductive success of the organism. ... Turgor (also called turgor pressure or osmotic pressure) is the pressure that can build in a space that is enclosed by a membrane that is permeable to a solvent of a solution such as water but not to the solutes of the soluton. ... Permanent wilting point or permanent wilting percentage (PWP) is defined as the soil wetness at which a plant wilts and can no longer recover its turgidity when placed in a saturated atmosphere for 12 hours. ...


Types of xerophytic plants are:

  • Succulent plants - typically store water in stems or leaves. They include the Cactaceae family which typically have stems that are round and store a lot of water. Often, as in cacti where the leaves are reduced to spines, their leaves are vestigial, or they do not have leaves.
  • Bulbs - water is stored in their bulbs, at or below ground level. They may spend a period of dormancy during drought conditions underground, and are therefore known as drought evaders.
  • Short-lived annuals can often germinate following rainfall. An example of this is the California poppy whose seeds lie dormant during drought and then, flower and form seeds within four weeks of rainfall.

Succulent plants, such as this Aloe, store water in their fleshy leaves Succulent plants, also known as succulents or fat plants, are water-retaining plants adapted to xerophilic climatic or soil conditions. ... This article is about the desert plant. ... Shallot bulbs A bulb is an underground vertical shoot that has modified leaves (or thickened leaf bases) that is used as food storage organs by a dormant plant. ... In a botanical sense, germination is the process of emergence of growth from a resting stage. ... In meteorology, precipitation is any kind of water that falls from the sky as part of the weather. ... Binomial name Eschscholzia californica Cham. ... For other uses, see Flower (disambiguation). ...

See also

Vaporization redirects here. ... Nymphaea alba, a species of water lily. ... The International Centre for Agricultural Research in Dry Areas (ICARDA) (founded 1977) is an agroforestry institution that is based in Aleppo in Syria. ... Kinetic theory or kinetic theory of gases attempts to explain macroscopic properties of gases, such as pressure, temperature, or volume, by considering their molecular composition and motion. ... Mesophytes are terrestrial plants which are adapted to neither a particularly dry nor particularly wet environment. ... Transpiration is the evaporation of excess water from aerial parts and of plants, especially leaves but also stems, flowers and fruits. ...

References

  • D. J. Taylor, N. P. O. Green, G. W. Stout (2001). Biological Science 1 & 2, third edition. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56178-7. 

  Results from FactBites:
 
xerophyte – FREE xerophyte Information | Encyclopedia.com: Find xerophyte Research (704 words)
xerophyte Any plant that evolved to survive in dry conditions, in areas subject to drought, or in physiologically dry areas (such as salt marshes and acid bogs) where saline or acid conditions make the uptake of water difficult.
The Press; 4/6/2002; 35 words ; Xerophytes for the New World is the subject of Jim Dunn's talk for the Friends of the Christchurch Botanic Gardens on Monday at 2pm in the Petanque Club Rooms, near the gardens' Armagh Street car-park entrance.
Xerophytes are desert plants that must carry out...
Xerophyte - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (291 words)
A xerophyte describes a plant that has structural (xeromorphic) and physiological adaptations which enable them to survive, or even thrive, in areas with very little free moisture.
Xerophytes occur in all kind of environments, not simply those which immediately appear free of water such as deserts.
Many countries have xerophytes, including those which are wet such as the United Kingdom in sand dunes and sea shore strand lines.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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