Physical adaptations are one way plants adjust to specific environmental conditions. For example, cacti have spines in place of leaves to prevent water loss in the arid conditions of the desert. Chemical adaptations are another means for plant protection. Many plants produce toxic or noxious compounds to protect themselves from insects or animals that would eat them, to reduce competition from other plants, or even to change the response of pollinators. Humans often harvest these compounds for their own benefit. Watch this video for help with completing the assignment.
- Read this article on the search for useful plant compounds
- Read this article on the less-than-beneficial uses of plant products
- Choose 1 of the following compounds:
- Answer the following for the compound you chose in the form of a 1–2-page paper.
- Describe the compound and in what plant(s) it is found.
- Explain how this compound provides protection for the plant.
- Does the compound provide any other benefits for the plant, such as enhanced pollination?
- What effect does the compound have on humans?