Xerophytic Adaptations of Plants
(Ecological Adaptations of Desert Plants)
What are xerophytes?
Ø Xerophytes (xerophytic plants) are plants growing in dry habitats (xeric conditions) where the availability of water is very less.
Ø Xeric habitat: places where water is NOT present in adequate quantity.
Ø Xerophytes are the characteristic plants of deserts or semi-deserts areas.
Ø Xerophytes can also grow in mesophytic conditions.
Ø Xerophytes can tolerate:
$. Extreme dry condition
$. Low humidity
$. High temperature
$. High wind-flow
Ø Three types of xeric habitats occurs on the earth:
(1). Physically dry habitat: the water retaining capacity of the soil very low and climate is dry (Example: a desert).
(2). Physiologically dry: water is present in excess, but not in the absorbable conditions or the plants cannot absorb it (Example: high salt water, high acidic water and high cold water, water as snow).
(3). Physically and physiologically dry: water present as mist, plants cannot absorb water from the atmosphere directly. (Example: mountain slopes)