Does Weather Affect Plant Growth?
Effect Of Temperature On Plants
The Effects of Temperature on Plants
Temperature affects plant growth due to several reasons. One reason is because of the relationship between temperature and light intensity. Light intensity increases with increasing temperature, which causes photosynthesis (the production of energy) in plants. If there are too many photons hitting the leaves at one time, then they will not absorb enough sunlight to produce energy for the plant.
However, if there are too few photons hitting the leaves at one time, then they will not generate enough heat to keep them warm. So, it depends upon the amount of light and how much heat is produced.
Another reason why temperature affects plant growth is because of the relationship between temperature and water content. Water content increases with increasing temperature, which means that water evaporates from the leaves faster than it accumulates in their centers. Therefore, if the leaves become dry and cool down, then they will lose moisture rapidly. This can cause wilting or even death of some parts of the plant.
There are other factors that affect plant growth such as wind speed and direction, humidity level, air pressure, etc. But these three factors have been discussed above in greater detail. Now let us look at what happens when we increase or decrease the temperature.
How Does Temperature Affect Plant Growth?
Plants will grow in an environment where the temperature is not excessively high or low. They thrive best in an environment where the temperature is just right for them. It may seem obvious that if you want to make a plant grow, then you should keep it at a comfortable temperature. If you keep the temperature very high or very low, then the plant will not grow very well. There are some plants that can adapt to either hot or cold temperatures, but there are others that cannot.
Another reason why plants grow better at a comfortable temperature is because some chemical reactions happen at different rates. Water evaporates more quickly from the leaves in high temperatures, which causes the plant to dry out and eventually shrivel up and die if the temperature continues to rise. Other chemical reactions such as photosynthesis occur better at lower temperatures. This is why it is easy to identify whether a plant prefers hot or cold temperatures.
The following are examples of different plants and their preferred temperature range.
Algae: 40.5 – 46.4 degrees Celsius
Moss: 18 – 32 degrees Celsius
Pine: 16 – 22 degrees Celsius
Cattails: 15 – 25 degrees Celsius
Palm: 26 – 30 degrees Celsius
If you keep the temperature either too high or too low, then the plant will not grow as well as it could. For example, if the temperature is too hot, then the water will evaporate too quickly from the leaves. If the temperature is too cold, then the chemical reactions that produce energy for the plant will occur too slowly. Therefore plants prefer a comfortable temperature in which they can grow and reproduce.
What Happens When You Over Heat Or Under Cool A Plant?
If you over heat a plant, then it will wilt. Wilting is a process where the plant’s cells begin to lose moisture through their cell walls. The wilting of a plant may also be due to a lack of water in the soil.
If you under cool a plant, then it can result in many problems for the plant. For example, if the temperature drops to a low enough level, then the chemical reactions within the plant will slow down to the point where photosynthesis cannot occur at all. This can result in the death of the plant.
How Does Water Affect Plant Growth?
As we know, plants need water to survive. They take up water through their roots and use it in chemical reactions that are necessary for their growth and reproduction. But if there is either not enough water or too much water, then this will have an effect on how the plant grows.
Too Little Water: If there is not enough water for the plant, then it may wilt. This means that the cells in the plant’s body will begin losing water through their cell walls. Once again, this can be caused by two different things. One is that there is not enough water in the soil for the plant to absorb.
The other is that the plant is lacking water due to its environment. This could be due to being in a dry place, or due to the temperature being set too low.
Too Much Water: If there is too much water for the plant, then it will cause lots of problems for the plant. For one thing, the roots may begin to rot from being in the water for too long. The plant may also begin to get fungus on it. This is because too much water will provide an excellent environment for fungus to grow and spread to other parts of the plant’s body.
What About Lighting?
Plants need to be exposed to sunlight in order to grow, but excessive amounts of light can also affect the way that the plant grows. For example, if there is too much light it can cause the plant to become blind due to sunburn of its leaves. This means that it will no longer be able to perform photosynthesis and will eventually die.
Too Little Light: If there isn’t enough light, then the leaves will begin to turn a pale colour and may even begin to wilt. This is because the parts of the plant that are responsible for photosynthesis aren’t getting enough energy from the sunlight. Without this energy, the plant cannot grow properly. You can probably guess what happens next…
The plant begins to die.
What About Soil?
The type of soil that a plant grows in can also affect how the plant grows. For example, some plants need to have their roots in soil that contains the right balance of minerals. If the soil doesn’t contain these minerals, then the plant may begin to show signs of lacking certain nutrients. For example, a tomato plant needs to have its roots in soil that contains lots of nitrogen. If it doesn’t, then the plant may begin to show signs of stunted growth, yellowing of the leaves and even rotting of the roots.
If there are too many minerals in the soil, then this can also affect how a plant grows. For example, if the soil contains too much silicon, then it can cause the plant’s cells to begin to harden. The result is that the stem and branches become stiff and brittle. This means that they are more susceptible to snapping under the weight of the fruit or the wind.
What About Other Living Things?
There is another factor that can affect how a plant grows, and that is the presence of other living things, such as animals or insects. If a plant is growing in an area infested by pests, such as aphids, thrips or leaf miner, then it may be affected in a negative way. For example, aphids are a type of insect that suck the sap from plants. If a plant has aphids on it, then it will begin to show signs of stress. This could mean that it is more susceptible to dying or disease if other bad things are present in its environment.
If a plant is growing near a path that is regularly used by people and animals, then it may also affect how the plant grows. For example, if there is a lot of traffic passing by the plant, then it may end up getting “shocked” by someone accidentally stepping on it. If this happens enough, then it could potentially cause the plant’s growth to become stunted.
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Too Much Water: Plants need water in order to survive and thrive, but too much can affect how they grow in various ways. For example, if there is too much water, then it can cause the soil to become waterlogged. This can have a negative effect on how the plant grows because the roots are unable to absorb enough oxygen and nutrients from the soil. Without these, the plant cannot survive.
If there is too much water in conjunction with too little sunlight, then this can also have a negative effect on how the plant grows. This is because the plant’s leaves may begin to droop or even get covered in fungi. This can end up having a greater affect on how the plant grows as it means that the plant is unable to photosynthesize properly.
Too Little Water: Just like too much water can affect how plants grow, so too can too little water. If a plant doesn’t get enough water, then its root systems can begin to shrink and wither. This can cause the plant to become permanently affected. For example, a plant that doesn’t get enough water may never grow to be very tall.
It could also end up dying if there isn’t enough water to sustain it.
There are various other factors that can affect how plants grow due to the lack of water. For example, too little water can cause leaves to wilt and droop. This makes it harder for the plant to get sunlight and can ultimately lead to the death of the plant. Too little water can also cause the cells within a plant’s stem to shrink, resulting in a smaller plant.
Some plants need specific types of climates in order to thrive. If a plant needs a humid atmosphere or even just slightly drier than usual, then the lack of water can cause its growth to be stunted. For example, cacti need dry and hot conditions in order to grow properly. If these aren’t provided, then it may end up being a very small cactus or it may not grow at all.
Finally, the lack of water can also cause plants to be more susceptible to disease. If a plant’s cells don’t get enough water to transport nutrients around the plant, then it can begin to weaken and die.
Too Much Sunlight: Just like too much water can affect how plants grow, so too can too much sunlight. If a plant is growing in too sunny an area, then this can cause its leaves to burn and shrivel. This will affect how the plant grows in various ways. For example, if a plant’s leaves burn and shrivel, then it won’t be able to get as much sunlight as it needs in order to grow.
Too Much Cold: Plants are delicate organisms that can only survive within a certain temperature range. If they are growing in an area that has too much cold, then their growth may be stunted. For example, the seeds of various plants such as fruit trees cannot germinate unless they are exposed to a proper amount of cold during a process known as stratification. If these seeds are planted in areas with too much cold, then they may never grow past a certain point.
Other plants, such as certain types of tropical flowers, cannot grow past a certain temperature and may shrivel up and die if they are planted in too cold an area.
Too Much Heat: Just like plants can be harmed by too much cold, so too can they be harmed by too much heat. Certain plants such as various types of cacti are accustomed to hot conditions and actually cannot survive if they get too much heat. In fact, many plants cannot survive in areas that experience very hot conditions routinely such as the desert.
Plant Growth and Human Activity:
As we have seen, plants need various things in order to grow properly and one of these is peace and quiet. While it may seem counter-intuitive, growing plants actually don’t like loud noises! This includes sounds such as leaf blowers, cars, planes flying overhead, etc. All of these types of noises can cause the plant to become startled and interrupt its growth.
Another thing to consider is how humans affect plant growth is through carbon dioxide emissions. Many people don’t realize this, but the main source of carbon dioxide for plants comes from our exhalations. This means that anything that humans do that affects the air can change how plants grow. For example, many people are aware of the effects of air pollution on the environment.
However, air pollution can also affect how plants grow.
Air pollution in the atmosphere comes from various sources such as cars, factories, and power plants. All of these activities release chemicals that affect the quality of the air. These chemicals can cause a chemical imbalance in the atmosphere, which can lead to a shortage of carbon dioxide available for plants. This can have a drastic effect on plant life since plants need carbon dioxide in order to photosynthesize.
On the other hand, some human activities can actually improve plant growth. For example, many people install wind farms in areas that experience a lot of wind. These wind farms harness wind energy in order to produce electricity, but they can also affect plant life in these areas. Wind farms can be hazardous to plants since their giant blades whip through the air at high speeds.
The winds produced by these blades can be so strong that they can uproot small plants, tear leaves off of larger plants, and actually blow away soil from plants that are rooted into the ground.
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Sources & references used in this article:
Temperature extremes: Effect on plant growth and development by JL Hatfield, JH Prueger – Weather and climate extremes, 2015 – Elsevier
Temperatures after bloom affect plant growth and fruit quality of strawberry by SY Wang, MJ Camp – Scientia Horticulturae, 2000 – Elsevier
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Plant growth under controlled conditions. II. Thermoperiodicity in growth and fruiting of the tomato by FW Went – American Journal of Botany, 1944 – JSTOR
Weather and cotton growth: Present and future by KR Reddy, HF Hodges, WH McCarty, JM McKinion – 1996 – mafes.msstate.edu