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How do the various leaf modifications help plants?

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Solution

The main function of the leaves is to carry out the process of photosynthesis. However, in a few plants, leaves are modified to perform different functions.

(a) Tendrils: The leaves of a pea plant are modified into tendrils that help the plant in climbing.

(b) Spines: The leaves in cactus are modified into sharp spines that act as an organ of defense.

(c) Phyllode: The leaves of some Australian acacia are short-lived and soon replaced by flattened, green structures called phyllodes that arise from the petiole of the leaves. The petioles in these plants synthesize food.

(d) Pitcher: The leaves of the pitcher plant are modified into pitcher-like structures, which contain digestive juices and help in trapping and digesting insects.


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