The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has increased significantly since the beginning of the industrial era. Scientists link the elevated levels of CO2 with the growing use of fossil fuels globally. Furthermore, researchers associate the widespread global warming to increased concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.
An Increased concentration of CO2 leads to greater temperatures due to global warming. In the process, plants not used to high temperatures get extinct reducing plant diversity. Elevated atmospheric CO2 will have a beneficial impact on plant consumers. The higher concentration of CO2 increases productivity of plants by enhancing photosynthesis, which is a process plants use to make food. As an outcome, plants consumers will have enough food. Global warming that comes because of higher levels of atmospheric co2 causes climate. Due to this climate change, desert ecosystem will extend to areas that were traditionally wet (Niklaus et al 543)
Out crossing is one of the methods through which plants reproduce. One major benefit of out crossing is that it enhances the genetic diversity of plants. Because of a higher diversity, plants develop a strong resistance to diseases and become more productive.
There are two mechanisms by which plants pollinate each other; they are self and cross pollination. Self-pollination involves the shift of pollen grains from the anther to the stigma of a similar flower or a different flower found in the same species. Self-pollination increases the population, but reduces the gene pool. Reduced gene diversity makes the plant vulnerable to disease. On the other hand, cross-pollination means the transfer of pollen grains one plant to another with a different genetic makeup. Cross-pollination increases the genetic diversity of plants. Cross pollination is majorly done by insects and the wind (Faegri & Leendert 101).
Seed dispersal means the transfer of seeds from place to another by different agents. The benefit of dispersal is increasing space for growth, thereby reducing competition for resources. It also enhances gene mixing resulting in increased diversity (Eckert et al 38)
There are various mechanisms by which seed dispersal takes place. According to the type of plant, it may use animal, wind, insect or water dispersal. The wind disperses those plants that have light pollen grains like corn. Water dispersal happens in plants that mainly grow in water, such as coconut.
The transport of fluids in plants takes place in different directions either from top to bottom or bottom to top. The process is called translocation. The exchange of nutrient occurs between the sink and source cells. Source cells produce their sugars while sink cells rely on sugars generated by source cells. However, before the sugars rich the sink cells, they must pass through the phloem. The process by which sugars and amino acids move from the source cells through the phloem into sink cells is called the pressure flow model.
Plants absorb minerals from nutrient poor soils using two primary mechanisms. The first one is the mass movement which involves the movement of nutrients from the soil through the process of transpiration. The second method is diffusion usually triggered by a difference in concentration of minerals between the soil and the plant.
Asexual reproduction involves the production of off springs that have similar traits to parents always without the involvement of seeds. Self-fertilization happens when a plant, fertilize another plant with the same genetic composition. On the other hand, cross-fertilization occurs when plants with two different genetic compositions fertilize each other. Self-fertilization usually results in a small gene pool while cross-fertilization often leads to rich diversity. Self-fertilization occurs on the same plant while cross-fertilization is assisted by different agents like wind, water and animals.
The type of fertilization determines the extent of diversity in a plant community. Cross-pollination leads to a richer gene pool in plants. When plants undergo cross fertilization, they become more resistant to disease. On the contrary, plants produced by self-fertilization are more vulnerable to diseases.
Eckert, Christopher G., et al. “Plant mating systems in a changing world.” Trends in Ecology & Evolution 25.1 (2010): 35-43.
Faegri, Knut, and Leendert Van der Pijl. Principles of pollination ecology. Elsevier, 2013.
Niklaus, Pascal A., et al. “A link between plant diversity, elevated CO 2 and soil nitrate.” Oecologia 127.4 (2001): 540-548.