A plant is a living being. Plants are one of the six great kingdoms in biology, the science of life. Animals are another realm. Well-known plants are trees and flowers. Mosses are also plants, but fungi belong to a different kingdom.
Most plants live on the ground. They have roots in the earth, with which they fetch water and other substances from the soil. Above the ground is a trunk or stalk. The leaves grow on it. Plants are made up of many small cells, with a nucleus and a cell envelope.
A plant needs the light of the sun. The energy from the light helps the plant produce its food. It has a special substance in its leaves for this purpose, chlorophyll.
What are pioneer plants?
Pioneer plants are plants that are the first to grow in a special place. Such places appear suddenly as a result of landslides, volcanic eruptions, floods, forest fires, when glaciers retreat, and so on. Such places can also be freshly dug ditches or leveled areas on building plots. Pioneer plants need special properties:
One characteristic is the way the pioneer plants spread. The seeds must be of such a quality that they can fly far with the wind, or birds will carry them and excrete them in their droppings.
The second quality concerns frugality with the soil. A pioneer plant must not make any demands. It has to get along almost or even completely without fertilizer. This is achieved by being able to obtain the fertilizer from the air or from the soil together with certain bacteria. This is how the alders do it, for example.
Typical pioneer plants are also birch, willow, or coltsfoot. However, the pioneer plants shed their leaves or the whole plant dies after a period of time. This creates new humus. This allows other plants to spread. The pioneer plants usually die off after a certain period of time.