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The Survival Tactics of Plants

What is Tropism? An organism (usually a plant) turning or bending in response to an environmental stimulus.

Types of Tropism
1. Geotropism: movement or growth in response to gravity. example: Roots grow down while stems grow upwards toward the sky.

2. Heliotropism: movement or growth in response to the presence of sunlight. example: Flowers or leaves turned towards the sun.

3. Thermotropism: movement or growth in response to temperature. example: Rhododendrons curl their leaves when it is cold outside.

4. Hydrotropism: movement or growth in response to water. example: Plant roots growing towards water.

Tropism is either positive or negative. Positive Tropism: movement or growth TOWARDS the stimulus. Negative Tropism: movement or growth AWAY from the stimulus

Environmental Change An environmental change can end the survival of a single organism or an entire species. Plants have different mechanisms that allow them to respond to environmental change.

1. Dormancy and Germination

Dormancy: A period in an organisms life when growth, development, and physical activity are temporarily stopped.


Germination: The process by which plants grow from a seed to a new fruit or flower.

Why do seeds that are sold in stores remain as seeds and not start growing? Because seeds will remain dormant until the conditions are right for germination.

2. Plant Movement
Plants can alter the position of their different parts to respond to environmental change.
Roots can grow towards water. Stems and leaves can grow towards sunlight.