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MOVEMENT IN PLANTS

Plants do not have nerves and muscles. It is because plants have only the chemical coordination that regulates their movements. One of the features of living organisms is their sensitivity. It means that they respond to different stimuli. A stimulus may be a touch, a change in light intensity or temperature, a sound or vibrations. Plants are living organisms and they too respond to stimuli, though not so rapidly or visibly as the animals do. In plants certain organs such as flowers, leaves, roots, stem etc show the response. Important stimuli for plants are light, day length, gravity, temperature and touch. They respond by showing movements helped by growth. These responses are called Tropisms. Growth movements in plants are usually in response to light and gravity. Responses to light are called phototropism; response to gravity is called geotropisms. If the plant responds by growing towards the stimulus, the response is said to be positive. If the response is growing away from the stimulus, it is said to be negative in direction. For example if a plant is placed horizontally, its stem will change its direction and grow upwards, away from gravity. The shoot shows is negative geotropism. The roots, however, grow vertically downwards towards the pull of gravity. Roots therefore are positively geotropic. Growth or tropic movements are irreversible and permanent. Extended learning Other tropic movements shown by plants are : Hydrotropism ( movement in response to water), Chemotropism (movement in response to some chemicals), Thigmotropism (movement in response to contact) It is interesting to note that all movements in plants are not growth/tropic movements. They may move otherwise also as in Mimosa (touch me not plant) leaves wilt on touch but after a while open up again. Sun flower blooms in the day time and closes by night. These movements are not growth movements and are temporary and reversible. Movements of locomotion or change in position mainly occur in cell components.