Plant transport
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Plant transport. How would you make a rainbow rose?. Lesson Objective: To show how the substances needed by the plant are transported around the plant. Success ! To relate the structure of xylem and phloem to their function (A Grade)

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Plant transport

How would you make a rainbow rose?

Lesson Objective:

To show how the substances needed by the plant are transported around the plant.

  • Success !

  • To relate the structure of xylem and phloem to their function (A Grade)

  • To explain how substances are transported around the plant. (B Grade)

  • To describe the process of transpiration in plants and explain the factors that effect transpiration. (A Grade)

Write out the word equation for photosynthesis symbol equation for a a

Write out the word equation for photosynthesis!

Symbol equation for A* / A

Moving materials
Moving materials

How do plants transport materials to where they are needed?

Which cells transport nutrients
Which cells transport nutrients?

Plants contain two types of cell adapted for transportation.

Xylem cells transport water and minerals up the stem from the roots to the shoots and leaves. This transport occurs in one direction only.

Phloem cells transport sugars produced in the leaves up

and down the stem to growing and storage tissues.

The cells are arranged in plants as vascular bundles.

Both phloem and xylem form continuous systems connecting roots, stems and leaves.



Phloem – both directions

Xylem – from roots to leaves

Water loss during photosynthesis
Water loss during photosynthesis

The underside of leaves have small holes called stomata. Each stoma is surrounded by two guard cells.

During photosynthesis, low carbon dioxide levels inside the plant cause guard cells to gain water and become turgid. They curve out, opening the stoma and allowing gases in and out. Water also evaporates through the stomata.

High carbon dioxide levels cause the guard cells to lose water, closing the stoma and preventing further water loss.

What would happen if the stomata were permanently open?

Leaf adaptations
Leaf adaptations

If the stomata were permanently open, the plant would continue to lose water until it dried up.

waxy cuticle

When a plant does not have enough water to spare, guard cells cannot become turgid and open the stomata.

Most stomata are located on the underside of leaves, keeping them in the shade. This prevents excess evaporation when the stomata are open.


In order to prevent excess water loss, leaves have developed an outer waxy cuticle that prevents evaporation from cells.

How do tall trees get enough water
How do tall trees get enough water?

Redwoods are the tallest species of tree in the world.

The tallest redwood ever measured was 120 metres tall. That is six times the height of the Angel of the North!

How does a plant this size get water from its roots to the branches at the top?

The water will travel up the stem, or trunk, of the tree.

What experiment could show that water travels up stems?

What is transpiration
What is transpiration?

Plants lose water when they open the stomata in their leaves to let in carbon dioxide. A stoma can only open if there is enough water in its guard cells. This helps to prevent excessive water loss.

Transpiration is the loss of water from plants by evaporation.

Water always moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration. This movement of water is a type of diffusion called osmosis.

Air around the plant usually contains less water than the cells of the plant, so water evaporates into the air.

Although transpiration may seem bad for plants, it actually moves water from the roots to the top of the plant, without using energy. How does this work?

Water absorption in roots
Water absorption in roots

  • The surface of the root is covered in root hair cells.

  • These cells increase the surface area of the root.

  • Water enters the cells by osmosis and continues moving through the plant to the leaves.

  • Minerals are also absorbed through the root hair cells.

  • Minerals are absorbed using a process called active transport.

Active transport
Active transport

  • So far we have learned about Diffusion and Osmosis.

  • Both processes are passive (they don’t require energy).

  • Minerals are absorbed using a third method, through Active Transport.

  • Active Transport moves molecules against the concentration gradient (low to high).

  • This requires energy.

How is the rate of transpiration measured
How is the rate of transpiration measured?

Transpiration can be measured using a potometer.

A cut plant stem is sealed into the potometer using a rubber bung.

An air bubble is introduced to the capillary tube.

The distance the bubble travels shows how much water the stem has taken up.

This gives an indirect measurement of the rate of transpiration.

Transpiration true or false
Transpiration– true or false?