Look at the leaves in Figure 29-13a. The coiled structure is a tendril, a modified leaf found in many vines, such as peas and pumpkins. It wraps around objects and supports the climbing vine. In some species, like grape, tendrils are specialized stems.
An unusual leaf modification occurs in carnivorous plants such as the pitcher plant, shown in Figure 29-13b. In carnivorous plants, leaves function as food traps. These plants grow in soil that is poor in several mineral nutrients, especially nitrogen. The plant receives substantial amounts of mineral nutrients when it traps and digests insects and other small animals.
Leaves, or parts of leaves, are often modified into spines that protect the plant from being eaten by animals, as shown in Figure 29-13c. Because spines are small and nonphotosynthetic, they greatly reduce transpiration in desert species such as cactuses.
• Describe adaptations of leaves.
• Identify the difference between a simple leaf, a compound leaf, and a doubly compound leaf.
• Describe the tissues that make up the internal structure of a leaf.
• Describe the major functions of leaves.
vocabulary tendril blade petiole simple leaf compound leaf leaflet mesophyll palisade mesophyll spongy mesophyll vein venation parallel venation net venation guard cell figure 29-13
(b) TUBULAR LEAF
Many plant species have developed leaf adaptations. (a) The pea plant has tendrils that climb. (b) The pitcher plant has tubular leaves that trap insects. (c) The barberry has spines that may protect against herbivores.
(b) TUBULAR LEAF
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