Humankind has grown up alongside plants. They are probably the most interesting and impressive organisms on the planet. We already know that they are so important for the sustenance of life on this planet. After all, they provide oxygen for animals to breathe and food for herbivores(those who eats plants). But as we are quite used to seeing them affixed, we often consider them as inanimate objects that aren’t capable of doing anything other than growing taller. Well, the diversity, complexity, and history of trees make for an enormous number of fascinating facts about them. Here our Biology Assignment Help experts have mentioned some unknown facts about them:
Communicating via roots
We all think that plants do not talk to each other as they cannot speak or use a sign language even. But that’s not the truth as recently a group of researchers has discovered that plants can have a conversation with each other with the help of an underground network of fungi. In a study, it was found that tomato plants can warn each other of harmful blight infestation. Suzanne Simard, a professor of forest ecology at the University of British Columbia had found many pieces of evidence to prove that trees connected through the fungi network could transfer nutrients to each other. She also explained that how massive trees transfer nutrients to smaller saplings. Not only that, but they can also undermine weeds by spreading toxic chemicals. So, we can say that trees can send messages to share resources, warn each other against any pest attack, and erode wild plants near them.
Just like we send SOS after getting trapped in a difficult situation, plants have a unique way for defense. When they feel the threat of being munched by a herbivore, they release a chemical that attracts the invading insect’s enemy, i.e., insectivorous birds and bugs. For example, the leafy tobacco plants attract predatory insects that eat the attackers. Scientists discovered that when the tobacco plants were attacked by hornworm caterpillars, Manduca sexta, its saliva causes a chemical change in the harvest.
The forest made of one tree
Trees often seem too tiny in comparison to the skyscrapers that we dwell in. But do you know that there is one tree in this world that is equivalent to the size of 75 tennis courts? Planted in 1988, this cashew tree has been named as Natal. It covers an area of 7500 square meters and has a perimeter of about 500 meters. During the harvest season, it produces appropriately 65000 fruits. Well, scientists say that its extra large structure is the result of two unusual genetic traits. For this reason, its branches grow to the side instead of upward, and they eventually get so heavy that they touch the ground. Moreover, instead of just resting there, the branches sprout roots, and then the newly rooted branch starts growing upward.
Plants can smell
When it comes to acute olfactory senses, predatory animals like hyena and dog come to our mind first. And, we don’t think that plants too have a sense of smell. But biologist Dr. Consuelo D. Moraes says that smelling is a major survival mechanism among trees. He said that by using its olfactory senses plants can detect whether their fruits are ripe and when pests are attacking their neighbor. By carrying an experiment on the parasitic spiny dodder, vine biologists found that it can actually sniff out tomato plants. To confirm this, they set up an experiment in which an artificial tomato plant and an empty clay pot were placed on either side of a dodder vine. It didn’t grow toward either of them. However, when a real tomato plant was kept next to it, the vine grew toward it, even when it was kept hidden from plain view.
Plants know what time it is
Every animal on this planet follows a biological clock that sets our sleep-wake cycle and the entire body functions, such as digestion and blood circulation. But do you know that plants too show circadian rhythms, i.e., physical, mental, and behavioral changes on a routine basis? For instance, many flowers open in late morning and afternoon in response to the sunlight. In a study, botanists from the University of Cambridge found that plants use sugars to regulate the genes responsible for the circadian rhythm. This biological timer gives plants an innate ability to measure time which is vital in biological processes, such as flowering, fragrance emission, and growth.
These were a few amazing properties of plants that you were not aware of. There are a lot that you can know about them by going through the research papers of biologists. However, if you are too pressed for time due to loads of pending assignments at hand, then feel free to ask us for help. We promise to provide you with a well-written paper that will let you score good grade.