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Base flow keeps some water in the river

September 14, 2013
By GARRY BRANDENBURG , Times-Republican

WATER is precious. All living things, plant or animal, need it. Without it we die. Without water plants also become stressed to the point where some may not live through it. The saving grace for native grasses, forest lands and agricultural crops is the water the soil can hold within its profile, even if deep down and hard to acquire. Plants have roots and special tap roots that will grow to almost any level to find moisture. It is not ideal, but life hangs onto this thin thread. Many plants are adapted to dry conditions by turning off their functions via a term we call dormancy. Area lawns are just one example of dormancy, a survival technique to retain plant life within the root system instead of above ground. Given enough new rain, the surface leaves will respond with a new burst of photosynthesis.



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