Plants & Human Affairs
Cherries.wmf (7140 bytes) Plants & Human Affairs (BIOL106)  -  Stephen G. Saupe, Ph.D.; Biology Department, College of St. Benedict/St. John's University, Collegeville, MN 56321;;

Private Lives of Plants #2:  Putting Down Roots

  1. The seeds of tropical vines like Monstera germinate on the forest floor but need to find a support to grow into the canopy to gather light.  How do the seedlings locate a support?  Why is this plant �behavior� unusual?


  1. The shape of the leaves of some vines changes as the plant creeps up a support.  Describe the changes that occur and why.


  1. How is the red underside of the leaves of begonia and other species advantageous to its survival?


  1. What are root hairs and what is their function?


  1. Tall trees, such as 300 foot redwoods, must move water a long distance.  Briefly describe how they accomplish this feat.


  1. Identify at least three evolutionary adaptations possessed by leaves of plants in the rainforest to insure that they don�t become damaged by heavy rain.


  1. Identify three examples of mechanisms by which plants defend themselves.
  1. Describe at least two carnivorous plants.  Do they use a passive (pitfall, flypaper) or active (snap) type of trap.  Why did the carnivorous habit evolve?
  1. What causes the formation/appearance of an annual ring?

  1. Complete the following table for each of the four major requirements of photosynthesis.    


Nutrient Where Obtained? (soil, air) Plant organ used to obtain the nutrient from the environment (root, stem, leaf) Function
carbon dioxide      

Challenge Questions: (bonus)

  1. Do all plants rely on photosynthesis for survival?  If not, can you name an exception?
  1. Design an experiment to demonstrate that minerals are required for plant growth


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Last updated:  09/28/2005 / � Copyright  by SG Saupe