competition among plants

Topics: Plant, Parasitism, Fern Pages: 6 (1809 words) Published: October 16, 2013
A/ Discuss competition among plants, look at how nutrients and toxic plant secretion affect competition among plants. Plants have various ways to compete with each other. The competition is mostly for nutrients that they need so much. They compete through allowing diffusion as well as through increased root growth. Plants seek rewards of nutrients, water, sunlight, and territory necessary for survival. If there are sufficient ingredients, the plants will compete by their performance for reproductive ability. If the plants are in proximity, there may be a limited amount of these essential ingredients, resulting in a head-to-head competition for as much of a share as possible. In some cases, parasitic plants will compete with host plants for the nutrition owned by the host. Questions you may have include:

How do plants compete for reproduction efficiency?
How do plants compete for survival?
What type of competition does a parasite create?
Head-to-head competition
Plants that are close to each other may compete for nutrients, water, sunlight, and territory necessary for survival. Some plants go mainly on the offense, trying to get as much as they can. Other plants use defensive methods to stifle their opponents from getting needed nutrients. Such as exuding chemicals which may affect other plants and or animals it is called allelopathy, allelopathy refers to the chemical inhibition of one species by another.  The "inhibitory" chemical is released into the environment where it affects the development and growth of neighboring plants.  

Allelopathic chemicals can be present in any part of the plant.  They can be found in leaves, flowers, roots, fruits, or stems.  They can also be found in the surrounding soil.  Target species are affected by these toxins in many different ways.  The toxic chemicals may inhibit shoot/root growth, they may inhibit nutrient uptake, or they may attack a naturally occurring symbiotic relationship thereby destroying the plant's usable source of a nutrient. Offense

They spread their roots to gather nutrients and water necessary for survival and growth. In the competition, there is only so much of these ingredients available, so the stronger or better competitor may be so efficient that it does not allow the other plant enough for survival or much growth. But it is also possible that neither plant will grow much in such a competition. Offense and defense

Another area of competition is in gathering available sunlight. Plants that grow rapidly and have big leaves may be able to gather sunlight at the expense of nearby, less aggressive plants. Defense

Some plants use other defensive tactics to prevent opponents from competing. Some put toxins in the ground nearby, so competitors cannot get too close. Predatory competition
There are plants that seek nutrients owned by another. Parasitic plants will compete with host plants for the host's nutrients. The parasite is on the offense, trying to take nutrients directly from the victim of the attack. The victim plant is on the defense, trying to fend off the attack and succeed in surviving. Although this seems like a one-sided competition, if the plant is able to prevent the parasitic plant from getting its nutrients, the parasite may wither and even die. But if the host plant dies, the parasite may be in trouble and even die itself. In this type of competition, one may survive and grow, while the other leads a weakened life. Summary

Plants with sufficient nutrients, water, sunlight, and territory compete by their for reproductive ability. If the plants are in proximity and there is a limited amount of essential ingredients, a head-to-head competition for as much of a share as possible results. In some cases, parasitic plants will compete with host plants for the nutrition owned by the host.

B/ How does adaptation and morphogical feature or any form of appendage (external structures) affect competition among plants? Plants often modify their stems...
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