Plants and the
Interesting facts about plants and the water cycle:
● Plants remain one of the chief sources of water in the ecosystem.
● Plants absorb ground water and return it to the environment through their leaves.
● 10 % of all water enters the water cycle via plants.
● Plants prevent water runoff which minimizes soil erosion.
Trees also release oxygen into the atmosphere
● In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people.
By absorbing carbon dioxide from the air and producing the oxygen needed for life, green plants form the basis for the long-term health and sustainability of all environmental systems. Plants are the only organisms on Earth that can manufacture their own food by converting the sun's solar energy into food.
The process by which plants convert light energy into chemical energy is called photosynthesis. Water and carbon dioxide are turned into oxygen and glucose during photosynthesis. The glucose produced is either stored in the form of starch or used for respiration. The oxygen is released into the air as a by-product. Green plants are the most crucial components of the food chain. Every other animal either directly or indirectly rely on them for food.
Numerous organisms rely on various forms of vegetation as their primary source of shelter and safety. On a grander scale, such as in tropical forests, plants can affect rainfall patterns. Green plants moderate surface temperatures by providing a form of natural cooling when they prevent the sun's heating effect.
The roots of plants help bind the soil together; this conserves the soil by minimizing soil erosion. The leaves also reduce soil erosion by reducing the velocity and impact of falling rain drops. The aesthetic properties of green plants such as flowers make the environment more beautiful.
We commonly hear that trees are good for the environment and that deforestation, conversely, is bad for the planet. However, many people wonder how trees can help the environment. Here are just a few of the ways that trees are a ‘green' part of our world.
Trees reduce CO2. We hear a lot about our carbon footprint, but many people don't realize that the carbon in this equation is carbon dioxide, or CO2. The same way humans breath oxygen and exhale CO2, trees breath in CO2 and exhale oxygen. This carbon dioxide becomes sugars that can then be eaten, burnt for fuel, or simply enjoyed in its leafy form. According to coloradotree.org, an adult tree can change 48 pounds of carbon every year into enough oxygen to keep two people alive.
Trees reduce ozone levels. This effect is not just global, but local. In large cities, a reduction in ozone can mean milder temperatures and more breathable air.
Trees reduce erosion. This is because their roots physically keep soil from washing away, but also because tree roots absorb and store water. A tree canopy can reduce the force of rain hitting the ground from a deluge to a gentle sprinkle, further preventing erosion.
Trees can reduce heating and air conditioning costs. There is a reason trees tend to be clustered around homes. Homeowners want them there, not just for their shady beauty, but for their effect on temperature. It is well known that trees can absorb summer heat. They also provide shade that can cool a house and yard substantially. In cooler months, trees provide a windbreak and trap heat. A difference of just degrees can save a lot of energy over the course of a year.
Trees trap dust and debris. Dust, smog, and other particles in the air collect on the leaves and tend to stick there. This creates generally cleaner air for people and animals to breathe, which can be important for quality of life in both cities and dusty agricultural areas.
Trees provide an ecosystem for animals, insects, and other life. Trees are an important part of many ecosystems. They are not just part of the carbon cycle, but also a home and a food source for many critters. In fact, many animals have a preferred type of tree that they call home, which means every tree is a potential life-saver to certain species.
That works out to a total of about 740kg of oxygen per year. Which is, very roughly, seven or eight trees’ worth.
That same acre of trees also produces enough oxygen for 18 people to breathe for a year."