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The life cycle of plants and adaptation to Alaskan conditions.

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Introduction

´╗┐The Life Cycle When a seed falls to the ground it starts what is often referred to as The Life Cycle. Once in the ground the seed needs water and warmth to start the next step in growth called germination. Germination is when the seed swells taking in water and nutrients and starts to grow. After the germination process has started the seed forms a root that will search for food and water in the soil to help the seed grow. With heat and moisture the seed starts to form its first leaves underground. The sprout needs to get those leaves to the surface to absorb more food and to grow, so the sprout pushes up as the roots grow downward. The root now forms tiny lateral roots. Next the cotyledon forces upwards protect the tender leaves between them. ...read more.

Middle

Inside the bud a flower forms. The bud consists of many layers of flower parts. When they are fully formed the flower opens up and the true beauty inside is revealed and their scent is released. This attracts butterflies, bees, flies, and other insects that aid in pollination from flower to flower. Once pollinated, the seeds can ripen and be distributed by the wind and other animals eating them and thus carrying them to other places. Seeds can even explode out of the seed pods! Once the seeds are in different places, the life cycle continues once again. Most people do not recognize the importance of plants, when in fact plants play an influential part in our daily lives. Plants take in carbon dioxide and give out oxygen which we breathe in. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are several kinds of roots that reproduce, rhizomes, stolon?s, bulbs, runners, corms, and tubers. Because of Alaska's short summers a lot of wild flowers reproduce in this way. Rhizomes are underground stems that grow just under the surface of the soil where every so often a flower shoots up. Alaska's blue irises reproduce this way. A corm resembles small underground leaves wrapped around each other similar to an onion that new corms grow from. A bulb is similar to a corm but reproduces in the same place each year without moving. A tuber is a big group of swollen stems that act as a storage chamber, each of which can form a new plant after the main plant has died. A runner is sent above ground and roots grow out to anchor the new plant. All strawberries can reproduce this way. Info from http://library.thinkquest.org/6274/General%20Plant%20Information/Plant%20info.htm ...read more.

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