Forest fires can destroy everything, but not all flowers and trees will be wiped out in the fire. In nature, there are some plants that either survived the fire or were reborn by the fire, interpreting the magic and tenacity of life in an alternative way.
Scorched by the fire without burning
“After a forest fire, most plants will be carbonized by high temperature, and life will naturally no longer exist. But there are exceptions to everything. A large number of studies have shown that not all plants will be wiped out in the fire.” Inner Mongolia Institute of Biotechnology Senior engineer Zhang Zhigang said.
In the forests of western Guangdong, Guangdong Province, my country, there is a peculiar plant called Schima superba. Its leaves have a water content of up to 45%, hard wood and very little oil content in the body. When encountering a forest fire, Schima superba uses the evaporation of water to take away a lot of heat, lowering its own temperature, so that it will not burn under the scorching fire, the tree body will not be burnt to death, and new leaves can still sprout in the coming year. Therefore, people call it a “fireproof expert.”
In my country’s Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan and other places, there is also a plant that is not afraid of fire-asparagus. Its ability to resist fire is even stronger. Experiments have shown that when a fire approaches the leaves of Asparagus, the fire will be extinguished by the fire extinguishing gas emitted from the leaves. This is because when the leaves of Asparagus are locally heated, the water is quickly evaporated, and the carbon dioxide gas in the cells of the leaves will be ejected from the ventilation holes of the cells to achieve the effect of automatic fire extinguishing.
Rely on fire to complete rebirth
Studies have shown that fire can accelerate the release of some plant seeds and is beneficial to their reproduction. Fire can also increase the germination rate of some plant seeds.
Zhang Zhigang gave an example: “For example, the imperial flowers that grow in southern Africa are not only beautiful in appearance, graceful and luxurious, but they also have a special survival skill, which is to rely on fire to complete their rebirth.”
Researchers have discovered that in the long-term evolution process, the imperial flower family has the “knowledge” for adapting to bushfires. Some members of the imperial flower family have thick “fire-proof clothing”, no matter how strong the flames outside cannot hurt the center So that they can regenerate quickly after the fire. There are also some members of the imperial flower family. Although they cannot escape from the fire, their seeds will only be released when the fire is roasted to complete the cycle of life.
Use forest fires to eradicate dissidents and expand territory
Some plants can also use forest fires to eradicate dissidents and open up territories. For example, after the bark of eucalyptus falls off, it will accumulate in the roots. Because the bark contains a lot of oil, it is very easy to ignite when the temperature reaches 40℃ in summer, causing forest fires. Under the thick bark of eucalyptus, there are many dormant buds. High-temperature baking can crack the bark and wake up the sleeping buds.
In addition, forest fires can also crack the husks of eucalyptus seeds, thereby promoting their rooting and germination, occupying the first place in the forest ecosystem full of humus after burning.
Zhang Lin, head of Inner Mongolia Mongolian Grass Germplasm Resources and Testing Center, said: “The Mongolian Grass Germplasm Bank has started the research and storage of fire-resistant plant germplasm resources. The characteristics of fire-resistant plants are generally thick bark and non-flammable. , The underground root system is developed, there are special seeds, which can be used to release the seeds to germinate with the help of fire. For example, in China, the tree species with strong fire resistance include acacia, torch tree, pentagonal maple, wattle, aspen, pistacia, etc. These fire-resistant Plants are an effective barrier to prevent forest fires from spreading and control large-area forest fires, and are also the basis for the construction of forest fire prevention systems.”