Connections

Can You Imagine A World With No Plants

Sure, it would look weird, but think about all the useful things plants do.
They produce oxygen.
They are a food source for people and animals.
They provide materials that we use to make clothes, medicines, houses, paper and more.
They reduce erosion and water runoff.
They provide shelter for animals.
They clean the air and the water.
The world would be a very different place without plants.

For something that has such a big impact on the world, plants sometimes seem like a mystery. Have you ever wondered how plants work? Of course, there are many different parts that make up a plant, but here are the basics. The six main parts of a plant are the roots, stem, leaves, owers, fruits and seeds. The roots absorb water and nutrients from the soil. Often there are root hairs on the root. Their job it to help absorb whatever the plant needs from the soil. Roots have another job, too. They help to keep the plant from falling over. Think about big trees during a strong windstorm. Sometimes the trees sway, but they don’t fall over. That is because their roots are holding them in place. Once the roots absorb water and nutrients, the stem carries these to the leaves. Once the nutrients are turned into glucose (by the leaves), the stem helps carry them to the rest of the plant. Depending on the type of plant, stems are woody (like a tree) or herbaceous (soft, like a dandelion). The stem also supports the plant while it grows, holding the leaves up so they can face the sun and absorb sunlight. Leaves take the water and nutrients that the plant gets from the ground and uses sunlight to make a sugar called glucose. Glucose is the food that keeps plants alive. This process of making glucose is called photosynthesis. During photosynthesis, the leaves take in carbon dioxide and release water and oxygen. Once the glucose is made, the stem helps transport it throughout the rest of the plant. Flowers on a plant, while they often look pretty, have a very important job; to make more plants so the species can survive. The process that plants use to reproduce is called pollination. Bees, butter ies and other pollinators carry pollen from one plant to another. Sometimes the wind will also carry pollen from one place to another. Plants that have been pollinated can make seeds. Once that happens, the plant will make fruit to protect the seed while it develops. Eventually, the fruit is either eaten and the seed is carried away by whatever ate it and deposited somewhere else, or it falls off the plant and potentially germinates and grows nearby.

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