Weather - Climate - Plants

  1. Mountain WatchHow does weather affect plants?
  2. How does climate affect plants?
  3. Can we use mountain plants as indicators of climate change?
How does weather affect plants?

Weather is what it is doing outside. The temperature, moisture, wind and the amount of sunlight are all components of the weather. Those are also the components needed for plant growth. Plants need water, oxygen and sunlight to grow, but it is the air temperature that regulates most of the plant processes – germination, flowering, photosynthesis, and respiration. Each plant has its own optimum, maximum and minimum temperature conditions for their growth and development. The growth rate of many plants increases as the temperature increases although high air temperature also increases the loss of moisture from soil and from plants (evapotranspiration). When there is insufficient water in the soil to meet the plant water demand, the plant wilts.

Temperature Effects on Plant Growth:

Photosynthesis: Increases with temperature to a point.

Respiration: Rapidly increases with temperature. 

Transpiration: Increases with temperature.                 

Flowering: May be partially triggered by temperature.

Sugar storage:  Low temperatures reduce energy use and increase sugar storage.

Dormancy:  Warmth, after a period of low temperature, will break dormancy and the plant will resume active growth.