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xerophytes biofact sheet

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Plant Adaptations to Dry Environments Xerophytes are plants which are adapted to live in dry conditions. Xeromorphic features are those which minimise water loss from the plant. The vast majority of the water which plants absorb via their roots is lost as water vapour from the aerial parts of the plant. This loss of water vapour is known as transpiration and is an inevitable consequence of the large moist surface area of cells which is exposed to air. The large surface area of cells is essential if carbon dioxide and oxygen are to be absorbed by leaves. However, excess water loss is the most common cause of plant death. The most common features of xerophytes are summarised in the table below. Usually small and thick and sometimes leathery with a low surface area to

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