Mesophytes are terrestrial plants which are adapted to neither a particularly dry nor particularly wet environment. An example of a mesophytic habitat would be a rural temperate meadow, which might contain Goldenrod, Clover, Oxeye Daisy, and Rosa multiflora.

Mesophytes make up the largest ecological group of terrestrial plants, and usually grow under moderate to hot and humid climatic regions.


Morphological adaptations

Mesophytes do not have any specific morphological adaptations, however they usually have broad, flat and green leaves.

Anatomical adaptations

Mesophytes do not have any special internal structure. Epidermis is single layered usually with obvious stomata and large cortex.


Mesophytes generally require a more or less continuous water supply. They usually have larger, thinner leaves compared to xerophytes, sometimes with a greater number of stomata on the undersides of leaves. Because of their lack of particular xeromorphic adaptations, when they are exposed to extreme conditions they lose water rapidly, and are not tolerant of drought. Mesophytes are very intermediate in water use and needs. These plants are found in average conditions of temperature and moisture and grow in soil that has no water logging.The roots of mesophytes are well developed, branched and provided with a root cap.The shoot system is well organised .The stem is generally aerial, branched, straight, thick and hard. Leaves are thin, broad in middle, dark green and of variable shape and measurement.

For example, in hot weather they may overheat and suffer from temperature stress. They have no specific adaptations to overcome this, but, if there is enough water in the soil to allow this, they can increase their rate of transpiration by opening their stomata, thus meaning some heat is removed by the evaporating water. However these plants can only tolerate saturated soil for a certain amount of time without a warm temperature. In dry weather they may suffer from water stress (losing more water via transpiration than can be gained from the soil). Again they have no specific adaptations to overcome this, and can only respond by closing their stomata to prevent further transpiration. This does actually have some benefits as it reduces the surface area of the leaf exposed to the atmosphere, which reduces transpiration. Prolonged periods of dehydration, however, can lead to permanent wilting, cell plasmolysis, and subsequent death. Since mesophytes prefer moist, well drained soils, most crops are mesophytes. Some examples are: corn (maize), privet, lilac, goldenrod, clover, and oxeye daisy.

See also


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  • mésophyte — [mezofit] n. et adj. ÉTYM. 1834, dict. de Jourdan; de méso , et phyte. ❖ 1 N. m. Bot. Vx. Partie d une graine d où sortent les racines et la tige, qui devient la ligne de démarcation entre la tige et la racine de la plante. 2 N. f. et adj. Bot.… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • mesophyte — [mes′ōfīt΄, mez′ōfīt΄, mes′əfīt΄, mez′əfīt΄] n. [ MESO + PHYTE] any plant adapted to grow under medium conditions of moisture mesophytic [mes′ōfit′ik, mez′ōfit′ik, mes′əfit′ik, mez′əfit′ik] adj …   English World dictionary

  • mesophyte — noun Etymology: International Scientific Vocabulary Date: 1896 a plant that grows under medium conditions of moisture • mesophytic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • mesophyte — mesophytic /mez euh fit ik, mes , mee zeuh , seuh /, adj. /mez euh fuyt , mes , mee zeuh , seuh /, n. a plant growing under conditions of well balanced moisture supply. [1885 90; MESO + PHYTE] * * * …   Universalium

  • mesophyte — noun Any normal terrestrial plant that grows in environments having an average supply of water …   Wiktionary

  • Mésophyte — Les mésophytes ou plantes mésophiles sont les plantes terrestres adaptées à un environnement ni particulièrement sec, ni particulièrement humide. Les mésophytes constituent le plus grand groupe écologique de plantes terrestres. On les croisent… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • mésophyte — (mé zo fi t ) s. m. Terme de botanique. Ligne de démarcation entre la tige et la racine d une plante, autrement dite collet. ÉTYMOLOGIE    Méso..., et terme grec signifiant végétal …   Dictionnaire de la Langue Française d'Émile Littré

  • mesophyte —    A plant growing under intermediate moisture conditions [16] …   Lexicon of Cave and Karst Terminology

  • mesophyte — noun Botany a plant needing only a moderate amount of water. Derivatives mesophytic adjective …   English new terms dictionary

  • mesophyte —   adj. mesophytic.   Land plant that grows in an environment having a moderate amount of moisture, e.g. most cycad species.   Cf. hydrophyte, xerophyte …   Expanded glossary of Cycad terms

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