The short answer is that spines are a defense against herbivores. Herbivory, or the consumption of plant matter, can be really bad news for a plant: get a bunch of your photosynthetic tissue eaten, have to grow it back, not enough resources left to produce seeds and reproduce, less offspring, lower fitness.
Why are cacti not suited for photosynthesis?
Cacti utilize CAM photosynthesis, a process unique to succulents. In CAM photosynthesis, stomata open only at night when the plant is relatively cool, so less moisture is lost through transpiration. However, photosynthesis also requires sunlight. … Despite their prickly armor, cacti are not immune to predators.
Are cactus spines dangerous?
Can cactus spines be dangerous? You’re extremely unlikely to die from getting speared by cactus spines, but they can do some damage. Puente-Martinez says this is especially true if you stumble and fall on top of them, as very occasionally happens when people attend receptions at the Garden and get tipsy.
Why cactus has spines instead of leaves?
Instead of leaves, most cacti have spines or scales (which are modified leaves). These spines and scales do not lose water through evaporation (unlike regular leaves, which lose a lot of water). The spines protect the cactus from predators (animals that would like to eat the cactus to obtain food and/or water).
How do cacti perform photosynthesis without leaves?
How does cactus perform photosynthesis as it does not have any leaves? A cactus is made up of a stem, the skin, roots, and spines.In the absence of leaves, the stem carries out the process of photosynthesis. The stem contain the chlorophyll pigment and the stomata for the exchange of gases .
Can cactus spines make you sick?
If not completely removed, cactus spines can cause complications such as inflammation, infection, toxin mediated reactions, allergic reactions and granuloma formation.
What will happen if a cactus does not have spines?
They all grow just fine. Theoretically they would be more susceptible to predation by animals because of their lack of defensive spines, but that can’t be too much of a problem because these species survive instead of being eaten into extinction.
What is the function of spines on a cactus?
In cacti, spines are wholly transformed leaves that protect the plant from herbivores, radiate heat from the stem during the day, and collect and drip condensed water vapour during the cooler night.
How does photosynthesis occur in cactus Class 6?
Cactus grows in desert environment, where there is scarcity of water. The leaves of cactus are modified into spines, to prevent water loss from the surface of leaves. The green stem of the cactus plant contains chlorophyll. Thus, the stem is the centre of photosynthesis in the cactus plants instead of the leaves.
How much CO2 does a cactus absorb?
Cactus is a natural carbon sink, it has a great CO2 sequestering capacity. From our 14 acres, we are able to absorb 8,100 tons of CO2/year while at the farm we only generate 15.30 tons of CO2 annually.