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Biology 1-2

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1. The desert tends to have two catagories of plants: small grasses of herbs, and shrubs or small trees. The grasses and herbs typically have fibrous roots. The shrubs and trees have taproots. What advantages can you think of for each type of root? How does each type of root allow for survival in a desert environment?

2. Grasses (monocots) form their primary meristem near the ground surface rather than at the tips of branches the way dicots do. How does this feature allow you to grow a lawn and mow it every week in the summer? What would happen if you had a dicot lawn and tried to mow it?

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Solution Preview

1. The desert tends to have two catagories of plants: small grasses of herbs, and shrubs or small trees. The grasses and herbs typically have fibrous roots. The shrubs and trees have taproots. What advantages can you think of for each type of root? How does each type of root allow for survival in a desert environment?

Response: Because the grasses have have fibrous roots they don't penetrate the soil very deeply. Fibrous root systems stay near the top of the soil. However, they are very good at keeping the plant anchored to the soil, and not only ...

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