How does having spines instead of leaves allow cacti to live in desert conditions?

Why do cacti have thorns instead of leaves?

Why do cacti have spines? Spines help cacti to thrive in desert environments by providing multiple functions. They protect the plant from predators, provide shade, help regulate temperature, reduce water loss and even help the plant to spread and reproduce.

How does a cactus have spines help it survive in the desert?

The spines on a cactus help to protect it from humans and animals. Its roots are spread out to collect water when it does rain and it stores water in its body for future use. An expert explains how a cactus can survive for years between rainstorms by living off the water it stores.

What adaptations do cacti have for life in the desert?

Eg cactus plants:

  • thick, waxy skin to reduce loss of water and to reflect heat.
  • large, fleshy stems to store water.
  • thorns and thin, spiky or glossy leaves to reduce water loss.
  • spikes protect cacti from animals wishing to use stored water.
  • deep roots to tap groundwater.
  • long shallow roots which spread over a wide area.

How do desert plants reduce water loss?

Stomata are the holes in plant leaves through which they transpire water. This adaptation helps cacti reduce water loss by keeping the hot, dry wind from blowing directly across the stomata. The leaves and stems of many desert plants have a thick, waxy covering.

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What do cacti have spines instead of leaves?

Spines – some plants have spines instead of leaves eg cacti. Spines lose less water than leaves so are very efficient in a hot climate. Spines also prevent animals from eating the plant. … Plants which store water in their leaves and stems also have a thick waxy skin so that they lose less water by transpiration.

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 do cacti have instead of leaves answer?

question_answer Answers(8)

cactus have spines instead of leaves to prevent a loss of water from the surface of the leaf. Cactus has spines rather than leaves so as to save water. Cactus has spines rather than leaves so as to save water. Cactus has spines instead of leaves because to conusume water in hot deserts.