The plants are an important component of this ecosystem. Their life cycle starts with the falling of seeds on the ground, dispersed by some pollinating agents. The following are the stages of the plant’s life cycle
- Seed stage
- Reproductive stage
- Seed dispersal stage
Without plants, the whole ecological cycle will get disturbed.
Generally, the life cycle of the plant is a simple one with fewer complications.
There are various plant life cycles, but the more advanced and mainly studied one is –the angiosperms (flowering plant) life cycle.
The stages of the plant life cycle
This is the first stage of the life cycle in plants. The seed contains the miniature plant inside it in the form of an embryo.
In angiosperms, the cotyledons are also found, which provides nourishment to the growing embryo inside the seed.
The seed gets dispersed by various agents, which makes it vulnerable to the soil and further, the development can take place.
Cotyledons also emerge as the first leaf after the germination of the seed.
The seed coat is the additional coverage that protects the harsh conditions of the environment.
As the seed falls on the ground, the seed needs a suitable temperature and moisture to start the germination process. Some of the seeds also need light for the same.
After the plantation of seeds in the soil, under proper conditions, the seed starts absorbing moisture and water that results in the swelling of the seed.
Eventually, the seed coat ruptures and the hypocotyl emerges out of the seed to transform in the stem.
This proliferation of a little stem-like structure from the seed is called germination. In monocots, the sed coat does not rupture and it is fixed in one place.
The hypocotyl originates from one specific place in monocots.
After this, the tiny root also grows downward, which has the role of absorbing water and other nutrients for the growth and development of the plant.
After this, the last stage of germination witnesses the shredding of cotyledons which culminates to form new leaves.
In order to sustain the various developmental changes in the plant’s body.
It needs to reproduce the food to complete its growth life cycle.
The process of photosynthesis occurs by adding up carbon dioxide and water, which form glucose and oxygen.
The chloroplasts in the leaf cells also help in the process by trapping the sunlight, which is used for the hydrolysis of water.
The sugars which are produced by photosynthesis get stored in the roots and stem.
The root system of the plant develops further and anchors the soil firmly to give the proper support to the plant.
The meristems in the leaf position also divide and proliferates in some new leaves.
After a while, the adult plant gives birth to flowers on the stem, which marks the next stage in the life cycle of plants.
Some of the flowers only contain the male part, or some contain the female part only.
In such a case, the pollen is carried out with the help of some pollinating agents, which shred the pollen onto the stigma of the female part.
The pollinating agents are mainly: wind, water, or some insects like honeybees, etc.; the pollinators play an important role in producing new species of plants.
Even when the flower is bisexual, the plant gets to benefit from the other flower’s pollen.
As the complete flower forms within the early bud, the flower is the sexually reproductive part of the mature plant.
The petals of the flower are variously colored to attract the pollinating agents.
The female part of the flower is called the pistil, which includes: stigma, style, ovary, and ovules.
The male part is called the stamen, which consists of long filament –anther where the pollen matures.
The pollen is shredded into the stigma of the female part, where the pollen gets attached to its base through its sticky base.
As the pollen gets trapped, it transverse through the style to the round part called the female’s ovary.
The eggs are found in the ovary, where the pollen fertilizes the eggs. The fertilized eggs take the form of seed and in the fruiting plants, the ovary develops into fruit by shredding off the flower’s parts.
Seed dispersal stage
Seed dispersal is the final stage of the plant’s life cycle. The seeds separate from the parent plant and are spread in the atmosphere by various means like wind, animals, or the water current.
The seeds get a dispersed position which eventually starts the plant’s life cycle in new soil or ground. The above events continue to take place with the seeds dispersed in the land.