Xylem vessels are made up of hollow cells designed to carry water and minerals from the roots of a plant to the trunk, with altered cell walls to allow for the passage of one vessel to another. They also provide structural support to vascular plants.Continue Reading
Xylem vessels are made up of cells known either as tracheids or vessel members. All vascular plants have tracheids, which are less specialized but have a special cell wall known as a pit membrane. This structure prevents the passage of damaging air bubbles from one xylem vessel to another. These are typically the only cells found in the xylem of gymnosperms, such as pine trees, and seedless vascular plants, such as ferns. Vessel members are more specialized cells with areas that lack any cell wall or membrane, known as perforations. These allow for easy passage of water between vessels, but also allow easier passage of air bubbles that can cause fractures and disruptions to the xylem. Vessel members are the principal components of xylem in flowering plants.
Xylem cells grow within the lengthening tips of roots and shoots. In woody plants, they are the bulk of the plant tissue and grow in rings as the plant expands. The inner rings die as the plant grows, remaining in place to provide structural support.Learn more about Cells
The main functions of the stem are to provide support for plant leaves, transport minerals and water from the soil and carry sugar or glucose made in the leaves to other plant parts. Plants can have herbaceous or woody stems.Full Answer >
How Stuff Works explains that water reaches the leaves of plants through the xylem vessels, and it escapes through small holes in the leaf known as stomata. The process by which the water moves from the capillaries to the xylem vessels and into the stomata is called transpiration. Plants absorb water through their roots, which contain capillaries. The capillaries are responsible for sending water through the xylem vessels.Full Answer >
Osmosis occurs because dissolved particles have a higher concentration on one side of a membrane, that only allows the passage of water, than the other. As water molecules randomly drift across the membrane, they tend to stay around the dissolved particles rather than drifting back.Full Answer >
Osmoregulation is an important process in both plants and animals as it allows organisms to maintain a balance between water and minerals at the cellular level despite changes in the external environment. Osmoregulators take up both minerals and water from the environment and have methods of expelling what they do not need and conserving what is in short supply.Full Answer >