Plant Adaptations Lesson

Plant Adaptations
Types of Adaptations
• Structural adaptations are the
way something is built or made.
• Behavioral adaptations are the
way something acts naturally or
by instinct.
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations to get food
– Leaves and stems absorb energy from
the sun.
Behavioral Adaptations
• Adaptations to get food
– Plants lean or grow towards the sun.
– Roots grow down into soil.
– Vines climb up trees to catch sunlight.
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations to get water and
–Roots soak up water and nutrients
from soil.
Behavioral Adaptations
• Adaptations to get water and
– Desert flowers can stay dormant for
months, only coming to life when it rains.
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations for reproduction
– Brightly colored flowers with nectar
attract pollinators such as birds, bees
and insects.
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations for reproduction
– Sweet fruit attracts animals that spread
seeds far away.
– Some seeds are shaped to catch the
Behavioral Adaptations
• Adaptations for reproduction
– Plants drop seeds to grow new
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations for defense
– Spines and thorns protect plants from
Structural Adaptations
• Adaptations for defense
– Poison Ivy and Poison oak have toxins
that give predators a painful itchy rash.
Plant Adaptations
for different Biomes
Desert and Drought Adaptations
– Small leaves, needles, or spines on desert plants
conserve water.
– Thick waxy leaf coating holds in water.
– Stomata (openings in leaves) are under the leaf and
often only open at night to conserve water and stop
– Roots near the soils surface soak up rain water quickly
before it evaporates.
and Pines
Grassland Adaptations
• Deep roots help plants survive prairie fires.
• Narrow leaves lose less water than broad
• Flexible stems bend in the wind.
Coneflower, &
Stinging Nettle
Tundra Adaptations
• Small plants grow close to the ground for
• Dark colored flowers absorb heat from the
• Fuzzy stems provide protection from wind.
Low growing plants, &
Small berry plants
Rainforest Adaptations
• Smooth, slippery bark keeps vines from killing trees.
• Slide shaped leaves lets rain run off so fungus doesn’t
grow on plants.
• Deep growing roots anchor the plant to prevent it from
washing away.
Epiphytes such
as Bromeliads
and orchids.
Temperate Forest Adaptations
• Thick bark protects trees and dropping
leaves in winter conserves water and
nutrients during cold winters.
Deciduous trees (drop leaves) like birch, beech, oak,
and maple, ferns, and Northern Arrowwood shrubs
Water Adaptations
• Flexible stems move with water currents.
• Floating seeds spread offspring.
• Air pockets in stems at the base of leaves
to help leaves float.
Water Lily,
Lotus, &
Parasitic Plants
• Have roots that can draw nutrients from
another living plant.
• Do not require soil.
Yellow rattle,
and Australian
Christmas tree
Parasitic Plants
Corpse Flower - Rafflesia
Yellow Rattle
Carnivorous Plants
• Get some of their food by trapping
and consuming animals (mainly insects)
• Because they eat bugs they can
live in areas with poor soil.
Venus Fly Trap, Monkey cup,
Sundew, and Cobra Lily
Carnivorous Plants
Pitcher Plants – Monkey cup
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