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Nature
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Topic:

Pandanus Palm (Essay Sample)

Instructions:

explore the pandanus palm with the aim of studying its structural, physiological, and behavioral adaptations.

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Content:

Pandanus Palm
Student’s Name
Institution Affiliation
Pandanus Palm
Introduction
The pandanus palms are plants and shrubs mostly found on the eastern edges of littoral rainforests. They have been categorized as endangered species because of increased diebacks in the recent years. Many pandanus palm species are found on the Fraser Island toward the eastern coast of Queensland and to the southern regions of the Pacific Islands (Huisman, 2000). The pandanus palm is associated with cultural importance especially among the Australian Aborigines who use it as food in the form of fruits. The tree is also used for shade, as well as esthetic beauty. The pandanus palm drupes are foods to various animals such as crabs, rats, bats, monitor lizards, and elephants. The primary mode of dispersal of the plant’s seeds is water. The paper will explore the pandanus palm with the aim of studying its structural, physiological, and behavioral adaptations.
Description of the Plant
The pandanus palms are palm-like dioecious trees and shrubs commonly found in the Old World tropics and subtropics. The plants fall under the kingdom plantae, order Pandanales, family Pandanaceae, and the genus Pandanus. In spite of their name, pandanus palm, the plants are not closely related to the typical palm trees (Huisman, 2000). The species of the plant have different sizes ranging from shrubs, which are less than one meter tall to medium-sized trees with a height of up to 20 meters. Typically, the plants have a broad canopy, weighty fruits, and they grow at moderate rates.
Photo 1: The Pandanus Palm Tree
Photo 2: The Pandanus Palm Tree Leaves
Structural, Physiological, and Behavioral Adaptations
Support and Movement
The pandanus palm trees and shrubs mostly grow in coastal sandy soils. For this reason, the plants have unique aerial prop roots, which are thick and stout. The roots are on the stem of the plant near the ground (Pandanustrees.com.au, 2011). The roots help to keep the plant upright without bending from the excessive weight of heavy leaves, fruits, and branches. Also, the roots secure the plants firmly into the ground to avoid dislodging by strong offshore winds (Finlayson, 2005).
Gaseous Exchange
Gaseous exchange in the pandanus palm usually occurs through the leaves, which are adapted for this purpose. The leaves are spiky and vary in sizes, usually between 30cm and 2 meters or longer. They breadths range between 1.5 centimeters and 10cm. The leaves have lenticels, which facilitate gaseous exchange (Gondwananet.com, 2015).
Obtaining Light
Light is essential for important plant processes such as photosynthesis. The pandanus palms have broad canopies of leaves, which facilitates tapping light from the sun (Gondwananet.com, 2015). Also, the trees grow tall to a height of 10 meters to enhance exposure to sunlight.
Control of Water Balance
The leaves of the pandanus palms are spiky, long, and thin. These features help to prevent excessive water loss. The plants mostly grow on sandy soils, which have poor water retention capacities.
Reproduction
Pandanus palms are dioecious, which means that male and female flowers are produced on different plants. The male flowers are usually 2 to 3 centimeters in length and are fragrant surrounded by narrow and white bracts (Pandanustrees.com.au, 2011). The female flowers are associated with round fruits, which are surrounded by a bract. During pollination, insects move pollen grains from the male flowers to the female flowers. When pollination occurs, the fem...
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