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Soil Plant Water


Transport Process
Difference between Short and Long
Distance Transport

Kinds of Transport Process:

 Diffusion

 Osmosis

 Active Transport
Water potential
 Free energy of water

It can be increased by:

 Heat

 Pressure

 Altitude
 Water moves from regions where
water potential is relatively (+) to
regions where water potential is
relatively more negative (-).
1. Water moves whenever there is
difference in water potential
2. If water potential are equal, the two
regions are in equilibrium and there
is no movement of water.
3. Water potential must always be
considered in pairs.
How do growth occurs in actively
growing parts of the plant?

 “PressureFlow Hypothesis”
Long Distance Transport (Phloem)
 Source

 Sink
Long Distance Transport
 Properties of Water
1. Cohesion
2. Adhesion

“Cohesion-Tension Hypothesis”
 Trans-stomatal transpiration

 Transcuticular transpiration
Water is essential in the plant
environment for a number of reasons
-Water transports minerals
through the soil to the roots
where they are absorbed by the
plant .
-Water is also the principal
medium for the chemical and
biochemical processes that
support plant metabolism.
 -Under pressure within plant cells,
water provides physical support for
 -It also acts as a solvent for dissolved
sugars and minerals transported
throughout the plant.
 In addition, evaporation within
intercellular spaces provides the
cooling mechanism that allows plants
to maintain the favorable
temperatures necessary for metabolic
The soil system is composed of
three major components:
 solidparticles (minerals and organic
 water with various dissolved
 and air
Water is absolutely essential for
all living organisms

 The evidence:
 Most organisms are comprised of at
least 70% or more water. Some
plants, like a head of lettuce, are
made up of nearly 95% water;
 When organisms go dormant, they
loose most of their water. For
example, seeds and buds are
typically less than 10% water, as are
desiccated rotifers, nematodes and
yeast cells
 Earth is the water planet (that's why
astronomers get so excited about
finding water in space).
 Water is the limiting resource for
crop productivity in most agricultural
The Properties of Water
 Water is a liquid at physiological
 Water has a high heat of
 Water has a high specific heat
(heat capacity )
 Water has a high heat of fusion
 Water has a high surface tension
 The density of water decreases
on crystallization
 Water is a universal solvent
 Water is transparent to light
Functions of Water

 is a major component of cells

 is a solvent for the uptake and
transport of materials
 is a good medium for biochemical
 is a reactant in many biochemical
reactions (i.e., photosynthesis)
 provides structural support via
turgor pressure (i.e., leaves)
 is the medium for the transfer of
plant gametes (sperms swim to
eggs in water, some aquatic
plants shed pollen underwater)
 offspring (propagule) dispersal
(think "coconut")
 plant movements are the result
of water moving into and out of
those parts (i.e., diurnal
movements, stomatal opening,
flower opening)
 cell elongation and growth
 thermal buffer
 perhaps most importantly, water
has directed the evolution of all
 You can think of morphological
features of organisms as a
consequence of water
 For example, consider organisms
growing in xeric (dry), mesic
(moderate) and hydric (aquatic)
Soil Structure
 The structural pattern, the extent of
aggregation, and the amount and
nature of the pore space.
 The size, shape, and arrangement of
the soil particles and the associated
voids (pores) determine the ability of
a soil to retain water.
 is the evaporation of water from the
aerial parts of plants, especially
leaves but also stems, flowers and
 Leaf transpiration occurs through
stomata, and can be thought of as a
necessary "cost" associated with the
opening of stomata to allow the
diffusion of carbon dioxide gas from
the air for photosynthesis.
 Transpiration also cools plants and
enables mass flow of mineral
nutrients and water from roots to
 Mass flow is caused by the decrease
in hydrostatic (water) pressure in the
upper parts of the plants due to the
diffusion of water out of stomata into
the atmosphere.
CO2 + H2O (CH2O) n + O2

 This equation suggests that:

- Gases, such as carbon dioxide and
oxygen, are important in the overall
energy metabolism of plants;
- Plants must exchange gases with the
environment; and
In order to obtain carbon dioxide
plants will necessarily loose
water (transpire). In other
words, transpiration is a
necessary evil of photosynthesis.
Theoretical considerations
A large surface area is required for
efficient gas exchange.
 A large surface area for exchanging
gases offers a large surface area for
 Placing the absorptive surfaces inside
the organism to reduce desiccation
presents a problem - getting the
gases to the absorptive surface
 Paradox and Compromise
transpiration ratio = mol water transpired / mol CO2

 If carbon dioxide uptake (or fixation)

and water loss are equal, this ratio
should be one. In reality,
experiments show that this ratio is
closer to 200! Thus, for every 200
kg of water transpired, 1 kg of dry
matter is fixed by a plant.
The amount of water lost by a plant
depends on the ff:
 size
 surrounding light intensity

 temperature

 Humidity

 wind speed

-Soil water supply and soil temperature can

influence stomatal opening, and thus
transpiration rate.