Consider the following adaptations in the vegetation:
- Deep roots.
- Large dark green leaves.
- Thick Bark.
- Waxy cuticle.
Which of the following are the adaptations of vegetation in the tropical climates? Choose the correct answer:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 4 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1, 2, 3 and 4
Vegetation of a region represents the sum total of the climatic condition, the below illustration shows the adaptability of the vegetation to the prevailing climatic condition.
Adaptations to tropical climates:
- Large dark-green leaves (= lots of chlorophyll) to absorb sun light, especially in understory with lots of shade.
- Leaf arrangement maximizes light capture.
- Slick waxy cuticle to allow rain to run off
- Shallow roots (no need to go deep for nitrogen or water) and buttress or stilt roots (to help with stability).
- Continuous growth (no year-rings in trees); trees can reach enormous heights.
Adaptations to desert climates:
- Small leaves or no leaves at all to minimize water loss
- Photosynthesis instead often in trunk
- Leaves are frequently modified to spines which aid in defense but also can reflect excess light.
- Highly reflective cuticle to reflect excess light.
- Succulence – storing of water in specialized tissues (fleshy leaves, trunks, underground etc.) also extensive and deep root system.
Adaptations to temperate climates:
- annual life cycle
- deciduousness when perennial
- If not deciduous then leaves are needles protected by thick cuticles to survive winter.
- thick bark to protect against cold winters.
Hence, Option (b)- Only 2 and 4 are the correct options.