Plant-plant relationships - pugliablog.info
Where Britain has a mere 32 native tree species (and the wiki page also Mostly these plants are epiphytes, taking their water from the rain. Smith () considered Swinburne's poem 'The Sundew' in relation to Allen's .. Tank-forming plants such as the bromeliads Brocchinia and Catopsis aside and they are an important breeding ground for tree-dwelling frogs in tropical. that humans use to understand complex relationships. Tree forms floor to the top of my favorite tropical fig tree, “Figuerola,” in Monteverde,. Costa Rica. . Branches and trunks also provide a home for epiphytes, “plants that grow on plants. .. This array of structural possibilities brings to mind a poem from my childhood.
Mostly these plants are epiphytestaking their water from the rain, or sending down roots as many of the long dangling vines do, and merely using the tree as a platform, not damaging it in any way."A TREE", a poem by Sri Aurobindo
This photo shows a strangler fig. It is a parasitic plant. It begins life high in the canopy as a little shoot, gradually sending out roots down the trunk of its host tree.
Over the course of about twenty years it will gradually wrap the host tree, depriving it of water and nutrients from the soil and eventually killing it. This benefits the forest because it returns the tree's nutrients to the ground and provides a living environment for many insects and the hollow left by the decayed tree provides a home for many animals. But how good would it be if every tree in the forest was throttled by a strangler fig?
This does not happen precisely because of the balance: No humans have to go in and chop off the burgeoning strangler figs to protect the trees, nature does this all by herself. This next photo is an acacia tree.
It thrives in a symbiotic relationship with a species of ant which lives in its hollow thorns and feeds on the tree. In return the ants provide protection against herbivores and keep the ground around the tree clear of other plants that would compete for water and nutrients.
Light is at a premium in the dense forest so trees will grow in the direction of light however apparently precarious the position.
For questions regarding this web site, contact Webmaster Plant-Plant Relationships Many interesting plant to plant relationships exist, covering the spectrum from mutually beneficial to wholly parasitic.
An example of a beneficial, plant-plant relationship familiar to many gardeners is the "Three Sisters Garden.
The corn plants grew straight and tall, giving the pole beans something to climb on. The beans, since they are legumes, contributed nitrogen to the soil. And the pumpkins shaded out competing weeds.
And even something as simple as the relationship of a tree to the groundcover beneath it can be considered a beneficial, plant-plant relationship.
silencing the bell: Parasites, Epiphytes and Symbiosis - Costa Rican Adventure Part 2
The tree casts shade, providing habitat for a shade-loving groundcover, and the groundcover in turn keeps more deep-rooted and competitive grasses at bay.
One interesting group of plants are the epiphytes. Relatively rare in temperate regions, epiphytes are quite common in tropical rainforests.
An epiphyte is a plant that grows on another plant, neither harming nor helping it. For example, mosses can be epiphytic, growing harmlessly on tree trunks. More exclusively epiphytic plants are the bromeliads and some orchids. Bromeliads are plants that commonly grow high in the branches of tropical rainforest trees.