How plants deal with stress has always fascinated me. Remember that post where I argued that plants can fly? Well, they can for sure, yet that does not mean they have to be able to deal with the circumstances wherever they land.
It is thus a logical assumption that plants would prefer to be on the best spots possible in that sessile part of their lives: if you have to stay where you are, better be somewhere good, don’t you think? Yet there is animportant issues with being on a good spot: your neighbours.
Competition for the good spots is tough, and only the best competitors will be able to survive there. Living in optimal conditions might thus easily be as much of a resource investment as the other alternative: living were conditions are much worse.
And that brings me to the stress-tolerant species: plants that invested their energy in coping with stressfull conditions, instead of finding ways to outcompete others in less stressfull environments. Good examples of such stress-tolerant species can be found in the pictures in this post: all species from the Camargue in southern France, a brackish vegetation along the inland lagunes of the Meditteranean.
They often are succulent, or at least very sturdy, with stems and leaves especially designed to limit the water loss in the high-salt environment. This investments has a cost concerning growth rate, reproduction etc., yet in an environment where only the tough ones can survive, growing fast is not a necessity.
More pictures: check the gallery called ‘Montpellier 2017‘ on the right of this blog.