Definition - What does Solar Tracking mean?
Solar tracking plants tend to exhibit a directional response to the sun. Indeed, the plant’s movements are directly induced by sunlight.
Sunflowers are known for their excellent solar tracking capabilities; these plants automatically orient their leaves in such a way so as to be perpendicular to sunlight. This maximizes photosynthesis, aiding in plant growth and development.
MaximumYield explains Solar Tracking
Also known as heliotropism, solar tracking is performed by the plant’s motor cells. These cells change the plant’s turgor pressure by pumping potassium ions into the other tissues.
According to botanists, solar tracking can enhance the plant’s reproductive success. Heliotropism has also been shown to boost seed development, fertilization success, and pollination in spring flowers.
However, it should still be noted that not all solar tracking plants are heliotropic. In some cases, plants can display a shift in orientation based on a circadian motion, which is caused by a substantial light source.
Along with sunflowers, some of the more popular solar tracking plants include daisies, marigolds, and poppies.
Solar tracking should not be confused with photoperiodism, which refers to the movement of a plant toward a light source, sunshine or otherwise.