How Plants Deal With the Cold

Posted on December 21 2016

How Plants Deal With the Cold
The Winter Solstice is finally here, Garden of Eden fans, and with it comes the onset of winter.  For the next few weeks (or at least until Groundhog's Day) we'll be putting up with some plummeting temperatures.  However, while we have no problem with the cold, as we can just come inside into the heat, what do plants do in the cold?  Read on today to find out more! While there are some plants that will die off before the cold comes, there are others that need to stick through it in order to complete their life cycles.  The cold itself is not a danger to plants, but ice is.  If water is lodged in a plant, temperatures below freezing are deemed lethal for the plants, as water can freeze in the individual cells of the plant, killing it from the inside out. With that being said, how does a plant defend itself from inevitable cold temperatures?  One way that the plant prepares itself from the onslaught of cold temperatures is to store any remaining sucrose (food), and to line its cells with a specific organic compound that functions like salt on the roads, as it lowers the freezing point.  In addition, a plant will release a certain protein that will bind water molecules together, making them denser and able to stabilize membranes in the plant itself. The amazing thing about all of this is that the plant does it naturally.  There is no thought into how the plant should prepare for winter.  Instead, it just goes through the motions as if having had the experience before, despite not having any.  It is just another wonder in the realm of nature.


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