Anatomical adaptations

Hydrophytes - Anatomical adaptations

Anatomical adaptations:

A. The root and shoot systems exhibit general features like cuticle that is not present and very thin.

B. Epidermis is generally a single layer of thin walled cells, not defending in function.

C. The cortex is well developed. It contains many air chambers. It aids in buoyancy and quick gaseous exchange.

D. Mechanical tissues are usually not present.

E. In vascular tissue, xylem vessels are less general. Only tracheids are existed in submerged forms.

F. In amphibious form, the xylem and phloem are well build up, example: Limnophylla heterophylla or vascular bundles might be aggregated towards the centre. (Example: Jussiaea)

G. Epidermal cells of the leaves include chloroplasts and they can function as photosynthetic tissue, particularly where the leaves and stems are much thin. Example: Hydrilla.

214_hydrilla stem.jpg

Figure: T.S. Hydrilla Stem

H. Stomata are completely absent in submerged, however in floating leaves; stomata are confined merely to the upper surface. In amphibious plants stomata might be scattered on all the aerial portions.

I. In submerged leaves, the air chambers are filled with respiratory and moisture and other gases.

J. In Water Lilly (i.e., Nymphaea) and some other plants, special kind of star shaped lignified cells termed as asterosclereids are developed. It provides mechanical support to the plants.

K. The aquatic plants show a low compensation point and low osmotic concentration of the cell sap.

L. Mucilage cells and canals secrete mucilage to defend the plant body from decay beneath water.

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