why are the leaves of cactus plant modified into spines

Cacti plants have green and thick-walled stems dominated with a lot of needle-like structures referred to as spines. Spines of cactus plants are modified leaves or shoots located in the axil of a leaf. Spines on cactus: Cactus have spines to protect their succulent stems, and thus their precious water supplies. The swollen-thorn acacias of Central America actually have enlarged, hollowed-out, stipular spines occupied by stinging ants. They can be branched or simple. A spines attract insects to the plant B spines provide more shade for the plant ... D - spines reduse water loss from the plant. ... Read Document. The correct answer is D. Reply. These spines help in storing water in the steams by reducing the amount of transpiration. The leaves of the cactus are modified into spines because it needs to reduce loss of water through transpiration Reply. 0 votes . Soft, broad leaves might be good at photosynthesis, but they lose a lot of water due to evaporation. Most of them have reduced leaves that are modified into spines and photosynthetic stems. A cactus (plural cacti, cactuses, or less commonly, cactus) is a member of the plant family Cactaceae, a family comprising about 127 genera with some 1750 known species of the order Caryophyllales. Leaves are greatly reduced or entirely absent. Other articles where Spine is discussed: angiosperm: Leaf modifications: Spines are also modified leaves. Leaves release water from the stomata to cool the plant. First, let’s look at the spines of cactus for what they are – the main part of cactus often functions as a modified stem, and its needles are the leaves. It is the woody modified leaf or leaf plant. These are modified buds called “areoles.” From the areoles spring the spines (usually) for which cacti are best known. Spines-leaves modified for protection. The spine is technically a modified, sharp-pointed leaf. answered by Afreen Ibrahim. Most cactus morphologists have concluded that cactus spines are either modified leaves or modified bud scales (the difference is inconsequential because bud scales themselves are modified leaves). The pitcher plant and Venus' flytrap use leaves to trap and digest insects. Spines are formed as modified leaves which take the form of spines as the plant evolves. The most obvious function of cactus spines is to protect the cacti from animals and people. Numerous plants have spines of course, but in cacti, spines occur in clusters in the axil of leaves, even though the leaves are usually microscopic. Note the sharp spines on the cactus above. Only 2 types of cactus plants have leaves. This is an adaptation of the plant to the arid environment that it is found in. No, the cactus performs this through stems as the leaves are modified into spines. The leaves are further modified to provide yellow structures on the margins of the leaves which only function to feed the ants. 3. They replace the leaves of plants especially the ones which are living in dry conditions. Modified branches or stem are known as thorns. A cactus spine is really a kind of modified leaf that becomes rigid and sharp. The areoles occur in rows or spirals along the stem. Stipular Spines Modified for Mutualistic Ants: In bullhorn acacia, evolution has proceeded one more step. answer comment.. 1 Answer. Stipular Spines: Stipules can become modified into spiines for defense. Loss of water from the leaves tend the roots to pull more water from the ground. Thus, it can be seen as a structure derived from leaves. Some climbing plants have leaves modified into tendrils that can curl around surfaces and allow the plant to climb higher to reach more sunlight for photosynthesis. 11/20/2014 10:46:25 pm. Rena. Learn more about the members and physical characteristics of the family. In cactus, leaves are modified into spines or thorns for protection and to prevent water loss through transpiration. Though cactus spines are modified leaves, they do not contain any of the cells or tissues characteristics of leaves when they mature. Any part of the leaf may get modified in to spine. The leaves in a cactus plant are modified into spines to prevent the loss of water. Over time, cacti modified them into clusters of sharp spines or hairs. Cactus is a part of the Succulent family because it has fleshy stems which store water. "Cactus plants usually consist of spiny stems and roots. The word "cactus" derives, through Latin, from the Ancient Greek κάκτος, kaktos, a name originally used by Theophrastus for a spiny plant whose identity is now not certain. … JONATHAN. At first, it can be hard to believe that tiny cactus spines offer any real protection from the intense, desert sun. The stem is green and fleshy. Cacti have adapted to the harsh conditions they live in by developing areoles instead of branches and spines instead of leaves. Thorns are woody, sharp, straight and pointed structures. The leaves are modified into the spines which can be observed on the stems. These new leaves were good at two things: avoiding water loss and protecting the plant (On this topic, I wrote a post on why cacti adapted to have spines instead of leaves). To reduce loss of water through transpiration leaves of cactus plants are modified into spines. This helps to conserve water and keep away animals. It can occur on a stem, leaf or other plant organ. Zizyphus . The leaves, becoming semi-vestigial, were put to a new use offering shade and surface shelter to the cacti. In this plant the stipular spines are hollow and house mutualistic ants. A cactus makes food in the thin, green outer layer of its stem rather than its leaves. The central spines discourage foraging animals and capture rainwater, directing it downwards towards the roots. This modification helps the plant to cut down transpiration and also protects the plants against the attacks of grazing animals. This process is called transpiration. Many cactus species also use their spines to tap into the moisture in the air. The cactus leaves are modified into small spines, which reduce water loss and can protect the cactus from plant-eaters. Thorns. This loss of water by evaporation is called transpiration. Spines are special plant structures. Instead of having wide flat leaves like most other plants, cacti have evolved to have modified leaves which form sharp spines that protrude from the main plant body. Only in two genera are fully formed leaves present. Saguaro spines A surprising function of cacti spines is to provide shade for the cactus itself. Spines are leaves that can no longer photosynthesize or exchange gases. Cactus spines consist of just a core of fibers surrounded by sclereid-like epidermis cells. The stem has adapted to supply those functions leaving the leaves to adapt to other uses. Most cacti feature thick photosynthetic stems and leaves that are modified as spines. ADVERTISEMENT. The actual “leaves” on the cacti are the spines, which are highly modified to protect it from animals that would love to eat its juicy stems. Leaf-spines : In this type the leaves become wholly or partially modified into sharp pointed structures known as spines. winter. Cactus species with few or no spines often produce toxic chemicals as a defense mechanism. CONTINUE READING BELOW. ask related question comment. Among cacti, spines are very common. In cacti, spines are wholly transformed leaves that protect the plant from herbivores, radiate heat from the stem during the day, and collect and drip condensed water vapour during the cooler night. Whenever it rains, the water is collected and stored in the highly modified stem region. Cactus, flowering plant family comprising 139 genera and nearly 2,000 species, all of which are native to the New World with one possible exception. Reply. While most cacti plants are known to be desert plants, they can grow and thrive in a home environment too. The leaves in Cactus are modified into spines, this feature helps to reduce transpiration and also protects the plant from grazing animals. Why are the leaves of cactus plants modified into... morphology-of-flowering-plants. Plant leaves have tiny pores called stomata that absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen and evaporated water. In the many species of the spurge family… Though thorns and prickles are similar to spines, they’re technically different. Cactus spines grow from the center and edges of the rounded areoles. because of the spines transpiration occurs less . But for the succulent plants to be called Cactus, they need to have a special structure which is present in the Cactus family. The bright red leaves of the poinsettia look like flower petals. Fetch Doc . asked in Morphology of Flowering Plants by Lifeeasy Biology. Bud Scales-are tough, overlapping, waterproof leaves that protect buds from frost, desiccation, and pathogens. Some spines are called "stipular spines" because they are modified, sharp-pointed stipules at the base of a leaf. hiipranav hiipranav Answer: Because of the low concentration of water and moisture in that environment. Cacti are distinguished from the rest of the succulents by the rounded indentations along their stems. A spine is a thin, stiff plant structure with a sharp point. therefore, it helps desert plant to save water in there body. Thank you for A2A. The thin, white, radial spines on the outside of the areoles reflect and absorb sunlight. Cactus plants generally have few or no leaves. The cactus plant grows in a desert where there is a shortage of water. Since it has a bud in its axil, the spine occurs in the relative position of a leaf. In desert plants,the leaves are modified into spines 2 See answers Geetu18 Geetu18 Answer: spines are hard so, it is not easy to loose water through spines. As a young spine grows from a bud, it quickly turns into a dead lignified fiber.7 Sometimes, the spines are covered by a loose sheath formed from the dried epidermis. In cactus spines are found in groups which is called as areole. When the spines mature, all the cells in the spines are dead. It usually forms just below a bud or branch or on leaf. The main role of these modified stems and leaves is to store water for a reasonably long period and minimize water loss as well. Thorns also provide protection to the plant from … In adapting to dry habitats, most species of cacti have modified their leaves into spines otherwise too much water would be lost through the pores. But before you start growing these amazing plants, you need to know the different types of cacti that exist and their unique needs. The spines are actually modified leaves growing from spots or bumps called areoles. Why do floating plants have air space in their root, In cactus leaves are reduced to spines. Ranya Khurana. Cactus Spines Are Modified Leaves. There are, however, a few animals who aren’t deterred by the sharp spines of cacti such as javelina, tortoises and pack rats. e.g. First, let’s look at the spines of cactus for what they are – the main part of cactus often functions as a modified stem, and its needles are the leaves. We can say that spines are modified leaves.6 To be more precise, cactus spines are modified scales grown from an axillary bud (areole). Hollies bear spines on the margins of their leaves as a deterrent to would-be browsers. Cactus spines are actually heavily modified leaves, although they don’t have any of the same structures that are found in normal leaves and are completely inert. So cacti have few to no leaves – which is certainly not true of aloe vera. Leaves of cactus plants are modified into spines to reduce loss of water through transpiration. Cacti adapted to extremely xeric conditions with high variations in temperature to harsh for delicate exposed leaves. Each leaf has a very different shape and function, yet all are homologous structures, derived from a common ancestral form. The most obvious function of cactus spines is to protect the cacti from animals and people. 11/20/2014 10:44:14 pm. Bud scales form before the onset of unfavorable growing seasons i.e. It helps in reducing water loss. 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