Study Shows How Plants Evolved to Survive Cold Winters

by Sheela Philomena on  December 29, 2013 at 11:27 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
Researchers have studied how flowering plants evolve specific strategies, like the seasonal shedding of leaves, to move into areas with cold winters, say researchers.
 Study Shows How Plants Evolved to Survive Cold Winters
Study Shows How Plants Evolved to Survive Cold Winters

Early flowering plants are thought to have been woody-which maintain a prominent stem above ground across years and changing weather conditions, such as maple trees-and restricted to warm, wet tropical environments.

Lead author Amy Zanne, assistant professor of biology in the George Washington University's Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, said freezing is like a plant's equivalent to frostbite, asserting that their water-conducting pipes can be blocked by air bubbles as water freezes and thaws, and over time, if plants moved into colder climates, they've had to figure out how to get around these problems.

Dr. Zanne and a team of researchers identified three repeated evolutionary shifts they believe flowering plants made to fight the cold. Plants either:

dropped their leaves seasonally, shutting down the pathways that would normally carry water between roots and leaves;

made skinnier water-conducting pathways, allowing them to keep their leaves while reducing the risk of air bubbles developing during freezing and thawing, which would shut down those pathways (the fatter the pathways, the higher the risk); or

avoided the cold seasons altogether as herbs, losing aboveground stems and leaves and retreating as seeds or storage organs underground, such as tulips or tomatoes.

The results have been published in journal Nature.

Source: ANI

Post your Comments

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
User Avatar
* Your comment can be maximum of 2500 characters
Notify me when reply is posted I agree to the terms and conditions

You May Also Like

View All

More News on: