Монологи на английском языке с текстом и переводом. №79. Тема: Распространение растений.

For thousands of years, plants have been finding new places to grow. In the past, they did it more slowly, but nowadays, plants are moving to new places very quickly. In some places, these new plants are becoming a problem. One place that this is a problem is in National Parks. People want to keep new plants out of National Parks. There are a lot of the old plants in these areas. These plants have made what is called a "niche" for themselves.
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That means each plant has its own place and it gets along well with the other plants. However, when the new plants come, they push out other plants. Consequently, the parks have rules against bringing them in. The only problem is, sometimes we don't know we're doing it. Seeds have so many different ways of traveling. For example, they can float on the wind or on water. Some attach themselves to animals or people.
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It's an easy way to take a ride to a new place. Many seeds are still viable after they are eaten and then passed through an animal. Horses, cows, and birds wind up planting these seeds in their excrement. Sometimes, people think the addition of new plants can be attractive or even helpful. One particular example is of a park where rain was washing away the soil. New plants with strong roots were planted to hold the soil in place.
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Volunteers went in and put down seeds in places where the soil was getting washed away. The plants grew well at first, so everybody was happy. Then these plants spread. Their seeds were getting spread further and further in the park. And the environmental conditions in the park were good for this plant. So it started to grow everywhere! This caused some of the original plants in the park to be displaced. The new plant choked out the original plants.
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This ended up being a big problem for the park. In addition to environmental conditions, there are features of different species that make them more viable than some native species. Let's see... for example, some plants have more seeds than others. The more seeds, the better the chance for reproduction. Some plants hold their leaves higher than other plants. In a forest where there isn't much light, plants that hold their leaves higher grow and reproduce more successfully.
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Some plants have roots that go down very deep into the soil. In a very dry place, they will drink more water than the other plants. Some plants start growing very early in spring. They get their roots started before the other plants do. All these plants have special features that can give them a competitive edge. Remember, this edge can be from number of seeds, from leaf position, root structure, or growing season. New plants can become part of a plant community.
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They can make a niche for themselves in it, though often this is only for a short time. Other times, the ecosystem is disturbed in some way. If the imported species have a competitive edge over native species for soil, water, or sunlight, the populations of native plants may be damaged. So if some new species gets into a park, is there anything we can do? Yes! Now, let's look at ways that the damage from a foreign plant species can be reversed.
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