plant adaptations

and any other non-chem subjects.
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RosalieL
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School: MCS
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plant adaptations

Post by RosalieL »

Can anyone suggest plants for the plant adaptation observations for Yr 11 Bio? I am hoping to get some from around the school grounds. I am not a gardener by any stretch of the imagination!! The teacher at the school I worked at years ago mainly brought her own in and we had a few pot plants out the back that were used for a few different things. I don't have anything specific here and apparently the previous labbie here used to bring some from her garden. What should I be looking for in the plants as I wander around the school grounds?
Merilyn1
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Merilyn1 »

You've come to the right place! My other life, I am a horticulturist :)

Casuarinas ( she-oaks) the needles are actually modified stems. If you look at them under a magnification, you can see the remnants of leaf whorls around the stem. These look like yellow-brown marks on the stem without magnification.
Acacias - any that have the entire leaf. These aren't leaves, but again, modified stems. The wattles with ferny leaves have true leaves.
The advantage of having modified stems is they have fewer stomata so reduces evaporation.
Any thick leathery leaves - bottlebrushes, eucalypts - thick cuticle which again reduces evaporation and water loss.
Silver leaves reflect heat to keep the plant cool
Hairy leaves reduce air movement around the surface of the leaf, again reducing water loss.
Leaves that curl around - some grasses do this. Again preventing water loss.
Spiky leaves (grevilleas) - to reduce the chance of being eaten
If you have any carnivorous plants - venus fly traps, honeydews.
Any legumes - peas, beans etc but you'll need to be able to pull up the whole plant to see nodules on root. A symbiotic relationship between bacteria and the plant which allows it to capture nitrogen from the air. Great adaptation for poor soils.
Succulents - store water in fleshy leaves.
Then there's all the adaptations for fire but a bit harder to collect - woody seed capsules eg banksias; epicormic growth - dormant buds under bark, what grows back after fires e.g. eucalypts; lignotubers thick base of plant where new shoots grow after fire (or drought) e.g. most species of banksias.

Just a beginning...
RosalieL
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by RosalieL »

Thank you! I will have to print that out and take it with me on my walk, I think!
Merilyn1
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Merilyn1 »

Maybe it is a job for next lockdown? :giggle:
I could put together a document with photos and share. Next lockdown...
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Labbie
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Labbie »

That's great Merilyn thank you
Regards Labbie

Lab Manager/Lab Tech, mind reading etc etc
Now retired :wub:
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Lyn
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Lyn »

Last time we did this I researched what the plants looked like and wondered where I could get them. Finally realised that on my journey to work every morning I was passing a large variety of the plants that we needed. So armed with a pair of secateurs, on the day that these plants were required, I took a leisurely drive with constant stopping to prune some of these really nice roadside plants. Nicest thing was that there was no one to say you can't do that. Basically a secondary highway through bush and open landscape with some industrial areas and mangroves. The school grounds were very productive as well. You just had to look. For those labbies on this site who are in the northern parts of the NT, my go to book for really useful information on local plants with lots of pictures was "Top End Native Plants" by John Brock, 1988 ed., or the revised 1993 edition called "Native Plants of Northern Australia" by same author. Same book different name with extras. Happy hunting.
RosalieL
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by RosalieL »

Merilyn1 wrote: 08 Nov 2021, 13:44 Maybe it is a job for next lockdown? :giggle:
I could put together a document with photos and share. Next lockdown...
Nooooooo!!!! No more lockdowns!!!! :crazy:
RosalieL
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by RosalieL »

Lyn wrote: 08 Nov 2021, 16:02 Last time we did this I researched what the plants looked like and wondered where I could get them. Finally realised that on my journey to work every morning I was passing a large variety of the plants that we needed. So armed with a pair of secateurs, on the day that these plants were required, I took a leisurely drive with constant stopping to prune some of these really nice roadside plants. Nicest thing was that there was no one to say you can't do that. Basically a secondary highway through bush and open landscape with some industrial areas and mangroves. The school grounds were very productive as well. You just had to look. For those labbies on this site who are in the northern parts of the NT, my go to book for really useful information on local plants with lots of pictures was "Top End Native Plants" by John Brock, 1988 ed., or the revised 1993 edition called "Native Plants of Northern Australia" by same author. Same book different name with extras. Happy hunting.

I'm trying to picture which road this is! I lived in Palmerston for just over 3 years. Love the NT!! :thumbup:
mtg
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by mtg »

Thanks Merilyn1
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Lyn
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Lyn »

Hi Rosalie,
I was talking about Tiger Brennan Drive between Palmerston and Darwin. I didn't mention the name because I thought it might be irrelevant to people down south. It's basically a quick drive into town bypassing the slow coach drive on the Stuart Highway which is the main highway from the top of the NT to the South Australian border. Less traffic lights and 100kph speed limit but there are lots of places to pull off the road so one can go foraging for plant specimens for Biology pracs. I've lived here since late 1981. Been here at the school since 1982. Lived in Palmerston since 1985. Still learning on the job. :thumbup:
RosalieL
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by RosalieL »

I wondered if it was Tiger Brennan but I don’t think I’d be brave enough to stop along there!! Haha
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Anna Z
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Re: plant adaptations

Post by Anna Z »

@Merilyn1 awesome info, thanks
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