How are xerophytes and hydrophytes adapted to their habitats? - KCSE Biology Essays

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Xerophytes:

Thick waxy cuticle; minimize water loss;
Leaves are folded and reduced in size; to minimize stomatal transpiration;
Sunken stomata; to reduce rate of transpiration;
Thick/succulent leaves, side branches or stems; for water storage;
Shedding of leaves during the dry periods; to reduce surface area exposed for transpiration;
Reversed stomatal rhythm; prevent excessive loss of water;
Deep penetrating roots; to absorb water from deep below the surface;
Superficial roots; to absorb surface water run-off;
Leaves covered in scales/hairs; to trap a moist layer of air; to reduce the rate of transpiration;
Drought-resistant seeds; that remain dormant till favourable weather resumes;
Underground organs (corms/bulbs); for storage of water and reproduction;
Most stomata located on the lower leaf surface; to avoid exposure to direct light; to reduce evaporation;
Reduced number of stomata; to reduce the rate of transpiration;

Hydrophytes:
Stomata on the upper surface of leaves; to provide a large surface area for gaseous exchange; and loss of excess water;
Poorly-developed roots that lack root hairs; to reduce/avoid absorption of water;
Aerenchyma tissue in leaves, stems and roots; to store air; and for buoyancy;
Deeply-dissected leaves; to provide a large surface area for absorption of light;
Highly-sensitive; and numerous chloroplasts; for photosynthesis;
Greatly reduced vascular bundle; to avoid absorption of water;
Flowers raised above the water; to allow for pollination;
Lack of a cuticle or very thin cuticle; for faster loss of water;


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