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Plant Environment: Water. Water makes up 80-90% of herbaceous and 50% of woody plants. Water is important to plants. Water critical for plant growth (photosynthesis: 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O ---> C 6 H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 ). Water needed to obtain nutrients from soil (nutrients dissolved in water).

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Plant environment water l.jpg
Plant Environment: Water

  • Water makes up 80-90% of herbaceous and 50% of woody plants

  • Water is important to plants

  • Water critical for plant growth (photosynthesis: 6CO2 + 6H2O ---> C6H12O6 + 6O2)

  • Water needed to obtain nutrients from soil (nutrients dissolved in water)

  • Water needed for cell elongation, one way plant tissues increase in size


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Plant Environment: Water

  • From soil into root cells

  • Water enters root hairs (projections of cells above root tip)

  • How does water move through plants?

  • Root hairs greatly increase surface area for water entry

  • Root cells ‘pump’ minerals into cells (using ATP energy)

  • High concentration of minerals inside roots creates osmotic gradient (difference in water concentration)

  • Water moves from high to low water concentration

  • Adding minerals into roots decreases the concentration of water in roots causing water to enter by osmosis


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Plant Environment: Water

  • From root cells to xylem in roots

  • Water (and minerals) move between or through cells of cortex

  • How does water move through plants?

  • Casparian strips blocks water, force it through membranes of endodermal cells

  • Endodermal cells selects nutrients that enter xylem


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Xylem is dead, hollow, tubular cells

  • How does water move through plants?


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Plant Environment: Water

  • From xylem upward to leaves

  • Water molecules ‘clings’ to xylem and to each other

  • How does water move through plants?

  • Water in xylem is unbroken ‘column’

  • Water evaporates from leaves ‘pulling’ water up xylem

  • Evaporative water loss through stomates of leaves is transpiration

  • 90% of water ‘absorbed’ by roots lost via transpiration in leaves


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Cooling turf or greenhouse (by evaporative cooling)

  • Frost protection

  • Other uses of water in horticulture

  • Modify local environment

  • Irrigation


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Slight water stress causes stomates to close; photosynthesis reduced

  • Water deficiency in plants

  • Reduction in growth

  • Smaller leaves

  • Shorter internodes

  • Smaller plants

  • Slight water stress can effectively prevent fast, leggy growth


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Severe water deficiency

  • wilting

  • Water deficiency in plants

  • Dry leaf tips or margins

  • Yellowing of older leaves

  • Abscission of leaves, flowers, fruit

  • Same symptoms can occur because of prolonged, excess water


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Container plants

  • Saturate soil with water; let dry before next watering

  • Proper watering of plants

  • Watering completely encourages root growth throughout container

  • Always use pots with drainage holes

  • Water until some water trickles out of drainage holes

  • Overwatering occurs from watering too frequently not too much at one time


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Plant Environment: Water

  • garden plants

  • Garden plants need regular water

  • Proper watering of plants

  • Deficits followed by excess water during particular growth stages reduces quality of vegetable

  • beans with large air pockets

  • Ruptures in tomato skin

  • Growth cracks in carrots


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Plant Environment: Water

  • Soluble salt problems result from:

  • High levels of salt in soil

  • Soluble salt problems:

  • High level of salt in irrigation water

  • Excessive use of fertilizers

  • Symptoms include:

  • Wilting

  • Drying of tips of margins of leaves

  • Abscission of leaves, flower, fruit

(Symptoms same as lack of water…why?)

  • Problem solved by flushing plant with water


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