SET – C , QUES 87

Q . Which of the following leaf modifications occur(s) in the desert areas to inhabit water loss?

1 . Hard and waxy leaves
2 . Tiny leaves
3 . Thorns instead of leaves

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

a . 2 and 3 only
b . 2 only
c . 3 only
d . 1, 2 and 3

Answer – d


How Do Desert Plants Adapt to Their Environment?

Structural adaptations are important to plant’s survival in the desert. Wax coatings on leaves prevent water loss through evaporation, which in the hot desert can cause loss of water from both the surface and the inside of leaves. Leaves are also smaller on desert plants, further reducing the possibility for water loss.

Deciduous plants in desert ecosystems have adapted through the activity of their leaves. Leaves on these plants are typically smaller and coated with wax to prevent evaporation.

Plants such as aloes are equipped with fleshy leaves that contain much of their water supply. Because of their moist inner bodies, these plants are called succulents. They typically feel spongy and when cut open are filled with a pulpy flesh, protected by a waxy outer layer.

Many plants in the desert conserve water by not having any leaves at all. Cacti are the most prolific of this plant type. Many cacti have spines in place of leaves, which conduct photosynthesis and catch dew when the climate is right. These small structures also reflect light, further reducing water loss. During heavy rains, cacti will grow temporary root systems and absorb water. They will then shed the roots when the ground has dried.