Adaptations plants had to make to be able to survive on land

Essay by zehrooHigh School, 12th gradeA+, May 2005

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Many years ago, plants made the drastic move from water onto land. Although at first they had a very difficult time surviving on land, they gradually became acclimated to their new terrestrial habitat. This was only after they had formed adaptations to overcome a slew of problems that plagued them on land. For example, they had needed an aquatic environment for both reproduction and to support the plant body, and they had to adapt to living without their aquatic surroundings. In addition, they now had to face the problem of dehydration. Fortunately, they were able to form adaptations to overcome all of these problems and today they successfully live and prosper on land.

Reproduction was an immediate issue because the plants could not carry out future generations without an aquatic environment for reproduction. They developed flowers, which have distinct and pleasurable shapes, colors, smells, chemicals, and nectar to attract insects and birds, which help in pollination.

Males developed microspores, which is pollen, and a reduced gametophytes. The pollen grain became very light weighted and easily blown about in order to increase motility. It is now possible for pollination to occur by wind, insects. In fact, many plants can even self-pollinate.

The female also developed a reduced gametophytes, in the megaspore or the mega sporangium. Nature had to evolve protection for the gametophytes, and it came up with an embryo inside the ovary, carpel, or pistil. The seed also evolved a hardened protective covering to aid in reproduction. Seed became carried in fruits, which were eaten by animals that dispersed the seeds and aided in reproduction. In addition, seed dormancy allows the seed to remain latent for extended periods of time. Lastly, the evolution of internal fertilization using the pollen tube and endosperm helped plants overcome the lack of aquatic environment...