Rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

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rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

Rafflesia is a genus of parasitic flowering plants. Rafflesia plants have no stems, leaves or true roots. They are endoparasites of vines in the. Describe the symbiotic relationship between rafflesia plant and vine? The symbiotic relationship between a Rafflesia plant andvine is yogada.info Rafflesia. What Is The Symbiotic Relationship Between Rafflesia Plant And A Vine > DOWNLOAD.

It rises through and above the host branches, soaking up the light and leaving the other tree shaded and starved for energy. In fact, this is a war fought on two fronts. As the starving host tree struggles to gather light energy to send downward from the leaves, it is also increasingly unable to bring water up from its roots. These opposing forces effectively girdle the tree, crushing the vascular tissues that carry moisture from the soil.

Eventually, the battle is lost and the tree dies. Fortunately for the fig, its major investments in root growth have paid off — the dead host tree does not fall, taking the strangler with it. Instead, it simply rots where it stands. Finally, many years after its arrival on the scene, the strangler fig has achieved independence.

It is now a free-standing tree, completely hollow and supported by its interwoven lattice of aerial roots. The first root finds the ground.

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Something quite unique… the roots of the different individuals fuse and form an organism which is indistinguishable from a single tree, except by molecular testing. You see, figs typically have staggered flowering times, such that it is unlikely for numerous trees in a small area to be in bloom at the same time. Once trees fuse, however, they seem to become physiologically linked as well, with researchers reporting that they bloom as a single individual. The most hurricane-proof tree ever.

Harrison Journal of Tropical Ecology 22 4: Flickrby vincenzooli. The reproductive structures are located under this disk. Male and female Rafflesias are separate plants. The flower is not only large but very smelly. In fact, the smell is often likened to that of decaying flesh and the flower is sometimes known as the corpse flower. The smell attracts carrion insects who normally feed on the dead bodies of animals.

As the insects move from flower to flower they act as a pollination agent. The flowers exist for only a few days. After this time they begin to decompose and become black and slimy. The central part of a Rafflesia pricei flower Source There are many species of Rafflesia. They all grow in rainforest vines belonging to the Tetrastigma genus. The largest flowers are around thirty-nine inches in diameter and weigh about fifteen pounds. Another Corpse Flower Although Rafflesia is often claimed to be the largest flower in the world, that honor is sometimes given to Amorphophallus titanum, or the titan arum, which is also known as the corpse flower due to the foul odor that it emits.

This plant is native to Sumatra and isn't parasitic. The titan arum may be close to ten feet tall. There are usually many years between each "flower" emergence, an event that is often exciting for viewers.


Unlike Rafflesia, the titan arum produces a compound flower that contains many smaller flowers. The compound structure that viewers admire is technically known as an inflorescence, not a flower. Therefore Rafflesia really does deserve the honor of being the largest single flower on Earth.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

The Titan Arum and its Odor Rafflesia Population Status At least some species of Rafflesia are thought to be endangered, although this is somewhat difficult to determine because most of the plant is hidden and the flowers exist for such a short period of time. There are several reasons for the endangered status.

Habitat destruction presents a major difficulty for Rafflesia, but another problem is the very specific requirements of the parasite's life cycle. The plant can only survive in certain species of vine; many flower buds fail to open; flowers live for only a few days; male and female flowers must be open at the same time; and the male and female flowers must be close enough for flies to transfer pollen from the male to the female.

They grow on the branches of many different types of host trees. Both true mistletoes genus Phoradendron and dwarf mistletoes genus Arceuthobium are found in North America. The European mistletoe Viscum albumanother true mistletoe, has been introduced to North America.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

True mistletoes affect mainly deciduous trees, although some species grow on conifers. Dwarf mistletoes affect only conifers. A mistletoe plant inserts its haustoria through its host's bark to obtain water and minerals.

The mistletoe requires these nutrients in order to make its food.

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Its leaves contain chlorophyll and the plant produces its own food by photosynthesis instead of absorbing it from its host. True mistletoes living in North America have small, green leaves that are oval in shape and are thick and leathery. They are evergreen plants. Mistletoe forms clumps which may be hanging or upright. The clump is sometimes known as a witch's broom.

Some birds build their nests in witch's brooms. This European mistletoe attached to a silver birch tree has formed a witch's broom. Source The development of a witch's broom isn't always caused by mistletoe.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

Other organisms and a hormonal problem in the tree can also cause the abnormal growth. Flowers and Berries Mistletoe plants are either male or female. The female plant's flowers are small and greenish yellow in color and the berries are usually white.

They may have a yellow, orange or pink tinge, however, depending on the species. The berries have a sticky pulp which is important in the distribution of the seeds.

When a bird eats the berries, the seeds pass undigested through its digestive tract, still inside their sticky covering.

rafflesia plant and vine symbiotic relationship

They are released into a new area in the bird's droppings. If they land in a suitable spot on a tree they can germinate and send haustoria into their host.

In Europe, the mistle thrush eats mistletoe berries as part of its diet, while in Australia the mistletoe bird does the same thing. Mistletoe may or may not damage its host. A large host with only a few mistletoe clumps may not be significantly affected by the parasite, but a small host with lots of mistletoe clumps can be seriously weakened and may eventually die. Most people consider mistletoe to be a pest, except perhaps at Christmas when the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is enjoyed.

Mistletoe has had a reputation as a magical and mystical plant since ancient times. The tradition of kissing someone under a mistletoe at a winter festival seems to be a very old one. Its origin is uncertain, although there are many theories that attempt to explain it.

In the UK, mistletoe is becoming less common. Instead of treating mistletoe as a pest, some people are deliberately adding the parasite to trees in their garden to help preserve it.

Seeding a tree with mistletoe is definitely not a good idea in North America, though, where the plants can spread to other trees and cause damage. Mistletoe berries Source Is Mistletoe Poisonous? Mistletoe berries and leaves are poisonous to humans and to pets, although the degree of toxicity depends on the species of mistletoe and the amount of plant material that is eaten. The toxins can cause gastrointestinal upset, including nausea, stomach cramps, and diarrhea, as well as blurred vision.

They can also cause a slowed heartbeat, which produces a drop in blood pressure. There is a controversy about the danger of mistletoe. Everyone agrees that the plant is poisonous, especially the berries, but surveys have shown that most people don't suffer serious consequences from mistletoe ingestion.

What is the symbiotic relationship between Rafflesia plant and a vine? | Yahoo Answers

However, it's important to realize that the results may have been different if the surveys had been done with people who had eaten a different species of mistletoe. In addition, individual responses to a toxin or to a specific concentration of the toxin may be different. Mistletoe is known to be toxic to dogs, cats, and horses as well as humans.

In pets, mistletoe poisoning is occasionally fatal. Therefore the plant should be kept out of reach of both children and animals. A doctor or vet should be consulted if any of the plant is eaten. A field dodder Source Dodder Dodder is the common name of a group of parasitic plants in the morning glory family. Dodder is sometimes known as Cuscuta, which is the first word in its scientific name. The plant is said to be filiform, which means that its body resembles filament, thread, or yarn.