Monday, September 8, 2014
Pine Cones and Forest Fires
Originally I wanted to use this relationship for my symbiosis assignment but it didn't exactly fit the requirements of two or more species seeing that fire isn't alive. But it does however fit in nicely with our next assignment because its is an excellent example of a living organism reacting to and living with external forces applied by their environment.
In forests of the norther forest species of the Pinus, Cupressus, Picea and Sequoiadendron trees grow one them cones, which act as containers which hold their seeds. These containers are bound together with naturally occurring resin, this resin holds the cone such and the seed inside till an outside force (in this case heat from a fire) melts the resin and releases the seed. This adaptation is called Serotiny, but more specifically Pyriscence Serotiny. This adaptation is largely seen in regions where naturally occurring forest fires are more common. The purpose of serotiny is to protect the seeds during the fire and allow the seeds to germinate and take root in a post-fire environment, one that allows for the best survival rate for the seedlings seeing as that they have little to no competition from undergrowth.