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    Classification and Evolution of Life

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    Angiosperms (flowering plants) are the largest Phylum in the plant kingdom (Angiospermophyta is also called Anthophyta or Magnoliophyta). These plants have true roots, stems, leaves and flowers. The roots grow into the soil to anchor the plant in place and take up water and nutrients. The leaves are above ground and act as the main organs for photosynthesis. Stems act as aboveground support for the plant and operate as conduits to move nutrients and water throughout the plant. Flowers contain the male and female reproductive organs of the plant.

    With these anatomical features in mind, do some research to find an angiosperm that has modified leaves, stems, roots or flowers that do not function in the normal manner, or that function in an unusual manner. Explain how this modification helped the plant adapt to its environment. Compare and contrast your choice with at least 2 plants presented by other students.

    Example: A California Barrel Cactus has spines in place of leaves to reduce water loss.

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    Solution Preview

    Classification and Evolution of Life

    This question allows you plenty of scope for research in to Angiosperms and I hope the following guidelines prove useful.

    The whole principle of adaptation is excellently illustrated by the diversity and evolution of flowering plants to occupy such an extensive range of ecological habitats and this question really merits a book! (See end of article for some suggestions!)

    First of all as the question has stated the basic morphology of a plant think also about the basic physiology of a plant i.e how do they work:

    Plants are holophytic i.e they make there own food and to that end they have evolved to utilise the sun's energy with the chemical chlorophyll and make intially carbohydrates by the reduction of carbon dioxide with the Hydrogen split from water. They use protein and complex Carbohydrates to grow and repair tissues and aquire minerals in oprder to form these chemicals as well as keep an ionic balance and capture and utilise the minerals needed for enzyme action. The do not produce vast numbers of waste products many remain in un used or underused parts of the plant other than the gaseous wastes from Photosynthesis and respiration. They respond ...

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