Reach me not!

Reach-me-not!

Why do you think plants have some special characteristics that make them physically impossible to touch?

Interactions between plants and herbivores are necessary to continue the food chain. However, when herbivores eat their tissues, these tissues can get severely injured. Some plants have adapted themselves to tolerate these damages and reproduce again, whereas other plants have grown traits which defend them from predators. 

One of the ways plants defend themselves against herbivores is by developing physical barriers. Some plants have adapted themselves to tolerate these damages and reproduce again, whereas other plants have grown traits which defend them from predators. Plants can grow a variety of defenses, such as thorns, and thick or pointy leaves. In this resistance mechanism, the plant structural traits, like trichomes, spinescence, waxy cuticles, sclerophylly, etc., can act as a physical barrier to arthropod pest attachment, feeding and oviposition. The plant cuticle and trichome density are two traits of particular focus in crop protection. Epicuticular waxes form a slippery film or crystals that prevent pests from attaching to the plant surface. Trichomes can prevent pest attachment and limit pest movement on crops. The needle-like thorns present on the plant discourage the predators from consuming it.

Plants also use chemical deterrents and other camouflaging techniques that are really amazing to comprehend. This becomes more interesting as plants keep evolving and coming up with more mechnanisms depending on the predator and the locale they are in.  

At Plant Science by Atrimed, we dedicate our time and lives to understand how plants behave and understand the science behind them to develop healing solutions to human ailments. If you would like know more interesting science facts from the world of plants, follow us.

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