|How does gravity affect plants and NON-Living things?|
|Question Date: 2016-05-30|
Anything that has mass is attracted to all other
mass by the force of gravity. Gravity affects
everything, even if an objects mass is very small.
The force of gravity gets weak quickly as you move
farther away from another object. That's why
people usually only talk about the force of
gravity from big heavy objects, like how the Earth
is attracted to the Sun by gravity. Even though
they are very far away from each other, they both
have a lot of mass so the force of gravity between
them is strong. We also talk about how you are
attracted to the surface of the Earth by gravity.
You are also attracted to the sun's mass but you
are much further away so that force is so small
you can't feel it - the pull you feel toward the
Earth is much stronger. This is true for all the
objects that have mass around you too - they are
more strongly attracted to the Earth than they are
to each other.
Gravity shapes the environment that we live in by
pulling down on everything. Rivers run down the
land, carrying soil and rock to the oceans. Even
the air (which is very light in weight) is
affected by gravity – it is thickest near the
ocean and gets thinner in the mountains.
Gravity affects everything, both living and
non-living things. For animals on Earth (like
you), gravity determines which direction is down
and up. Like you, plants can feel and react to
gravity. They make sure that their roots go down
and leaves go up - even their seeds are planted
upside-down. This makes it difficult to grow
plants on the International Space Station, where
they don’t feel the effects of gravity - the
astronauts can provide plants with water, soil and
sunlight but, without gravity to guide them,
plants grow in all directions.
Well first off, plants are living and in fact
plants are just as alive as we are. Although
plants look like they aren’t alive, they are
actually quite complicated and can be as complex
as some animals. Since plants are alive, gravity
has a large effect on them. For instance, a tall
tree needs to get water from the ground up to the
leaves at the top of the tree and gravity makes
this very hard. However, trees have many clever
ways of transporting water 100s of feet up into
the air despite gravity. And of course, leaves
fall off trees into piles of leaves on the ground
because of gravity. For non-living things like
rocks, gravity usually will only affect them if
they’re moving, like if a rock is pushed off a
cliff, it will fall because of gravity. Though
sometimes water falls due to gravity, and that
water can sculpt rocks, which is how the Grand
Canyon came to be.
Gravity affects how tall plants can be. Plants
want to grow taller so they can get more sunlight,
but gravity makes it hard for the plant to move
water from the ground to the tallest leaves and
branches. So, gravity limits the maximum
height a plant can reach. This doesn’t stop some
trees though. The tallest California redwood is
taller than the length of a football field!
Gravity affects everything equally: stars, rocks,
trees, people, etc.
Click Here to return to the search form.
Copyright © 2017 The Regents of the University of California,
All Rights Reserved.