Phenotypic Plasticity

What role does phenotypic plasticity play in the way a plant looks? How do you think that affects plants growing around Charlotte? Take some pictures and demonstrate the idea.

Plants will demonstrate different characteristics to decrease the pressure of competition. When resources are limited, and organisms are not the best competitor for that resource, the species will adapt over time to use up another resource or find another way to gain access to it. Some of these adaptations may affect plant location, root depth and leaf structure.

These pictures capture the way that plant types and features change with access to different amounts of water. Grasses out compete other plant types in areas of high water availability. That is why they are located near the stream. Smaller shrubs are then situated higher up because they are the best suited for that amount of moisture. Larger trees are located furthest away from the stream, which demonstrates their ability to thrive away from direct water sources.


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