Hygrophytes


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Hygrophytes

 

plants living in moist habitats. The distinctive feature of hygrophytes is that, in contrast to xerophytes, they have no adaptations that limit their consumption of water. Hygrophytes have, for the most part, large, thin blades with a weakly developed cuticle. They are therefore characterized by high cuticular transpiration. The stalks are long, and the mechanical tissue is practically undeveloped. The root system is weak; therefore, even a negligible lack of water causes them to wither noticeably. These structural characteristics are very pronounced in herbaceous plants growing in tropical rain forests. The plants in grass swamps, whose roots are in constantly moist soil and whose above-ground organs are subjected to the drying effect of the sun and wind, have somewhat thicker cuticles (which means that less cuticular transpiration occurs) and blades that are not so large and thin. Plants with leaves completely or partially submerged in water or floating on the surface are closely related to hygrophytes by their life conditions and structural characteristics. These plants, called hydatophytes and hydrophytes, are sometimes grouped with the hygrophytes.