Scientific Research Paper

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Sample Scientific Research Paper

Just as animals around the world have evolved to better survive in their environments, botanical life everywhere has also been forced to grow and adapt to their habitats. Every plant—from the smallest strain of seaweed to the tallest redwood—is the result of billions of years of competition for optimal growth conditions. In many places with harsh conditions or where there is a very large population of plants competing for limited resources, some plants have developed amazing ways of surviving. Some are poisonous to prevent animals from killing and eating them, while others have become carnivorous, eating and digesting insects to make up for a lack of nitrogen that most plants would absorb through soil. The greatest example of plant adaptation, however, is found in a unique succulent, more commonly known as the cactus. The majority of cacti are made up of four simple parts: the stem, the needles, the flowers, and, like all plants, the root system. The stem of a cactus acts as the plant's water storage system. Once water is drawn in through the roots, it can be stored in the stem for long periods of time, allowing the cactus to live through the long periods of drought and intense heat for which deserts are so well known. While most plants absorb sunlight and photosynthesize through their leaves throughout the day, for most succulents, these vital processes are also performed by the bulky stem. All plants have stomata, or pores, on them that allow them to breathe in carbon dioxide necessary for photosynthesis. When these pores open to let in the gas, water vapor escapes. This is fine for most plants, but in a desert habitat, this precious water evaporates rapidly. To prevent this, cacti open their stomata at night, when it is significantly colder and much less likely to evaporate. “Their problem then is that, as the…...

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