There are two types of reproduction or procreation: sexual and asexual. Multi cellular organisms usually procreate through sexual reproduction. Single celled organisms and plants typically procreate through asexual reproduction. The methods or differences in the two forms of procreation must not be looked at solely from the perspective of having offspring but also at a cellular level. How cells multiply, duplicate or replicate is the crux of both the processes. There are advantages and disadvantages of both sexual and asexual reproduction. In here, we shall explore the asexual reproduction in plants pros and cons.
List of Pros of Asexual Reproduction in Plants
1. Simpler Process
Asexual reproduction is simple. It is the less evolved process of the two. There are different stages of asexual reproduction but the process itself is much simpler than the complicated sexual reproduction.
2. Consumes Less Energy
It is expected that multi cellular organisms would require more energy to perform any task and it is no different in case of sexual reproduction. Asexual reproduction in plants doesn’t consume even a fraction of the energy that is needed for sexual reproduction in animals, including humans.
3. A Quicker Process
Asexual reproduction in plants is not subject to time, effort, excessive need of energy or special circumstances. Hence, plants can reproduce endlessly without spending too much energy or time on each offspring. There is no special process of mating or the need of a preferred mate either.
4. Abundant Growth
Asexual reproduction in plants produce offspring that is less depended on the environment. It is much sturdier and can brave harsh conditions. Sexual reproduction doesn’t create such sturdy offspring. If the environmental conditions are favorable in case of asexual reproduction in plants, then there would be multiple offspring and they would grow quickly.
5. Never Ending Process
All plants capable of asexual reproduction can keep procreating and the process is never ending. It doesn’t matter if some plants cannot procreate or don’t manage to live long enough because others can compensate the dearth.
List of Cons of Asexual Reproduction in Plants
1. Lack of Evolution & Genetic Diversity
All plants would look identical. There is no genetic diversity as well. Evolution is hence capped. Plants would not become any stronger with subsequent generations. The diseases that had plagued the parents would also kill the offspring. The plant kingdom thus remains the same despite the passage of time.
2. Struggle for Survival
Asexual reproduction is a rampant process. It can lead to blatant overpopulation since the parent plants don’t really factor in the availability of resources. There is no family planning per se. Hence the offspring may not have enough resources to nourish itself. There can be a struggle for existence or survival.