Biblical creationists are often asked about plant dispersal and propagation after a worldwide, devastating Flood. How many plants and seeds were brought aboard the Ark by Noah? Did some plants and seeds survive the Flood by means of riding atop vegetative mats, or by simply floating along? If so, how were these survivors able to propagate or re-seed after the Flood? Could some plants have survived as airborne seeds or spores? Or were they carried to the different continents around the world by human or animal vectors? The purpose of this paper is to address these and other questions regarding post-Flood plant survival and dispersal, and consider mechanisms by which this may have occurred.
Plants do a divinely miraculous thing with energy from the sun. They turn sunlight into food. This is essential for animals and mankind because they can’t eat sunshine. While early in life animals (and humans who share many similarities) possess all the main structural body parts they will ever have, plants constantly produce new structures throughout their life. Living plants maintain embryonic tissues that both regenerate themselves and continuously generate the basic structures (leaves, roots, stems, flowers and fruits, or cones). However, the way these new growth and reproduction structures are produced may be affected by the environmental conditions the plant is trying to occupy.
Plants can control or regulate their internal functions. Like animals, plants produce chemicals called hormones, which are produced in one part of the plant to signal cells in another part to respond. Examples of this are when flowering plants bloom at the most favorable times, when fruit ripens, and when trees lose their leaves in the winter. This ability of plants to add, shrink, or dislodge parts (leaves, stems, flowers, fruits) as necessary to survive gives them a unique design. Unlike animals, plants cannot pick up their entire bodies to find food; however, plants are equipped with other mechanisms enabling them to respond to the environment.
The study of an organism’s response to ecological growing conditions is known as environmental physiology. Stress from water loss, air chemistry, crowding by other plants, and flooding can change the way a plant functions. These variations may be affected by genetic, chemical, and/or physical factors.1 Given the intense topic of climate change we are seeing in today’s modern world, this is an especially popular area of study.
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