Roots absorb water from the surrounding soil using the process of osmosis. Plant and tree roots have special structures, called root hair cells, that cover a large surface area and act as tiny sponges to absorb maximal amounts of water.Continue Reading
The number of root hair cells varies depending on the type of root system, as well as the size and species of the plant or tree. Generally, these cells coat the outer surfaces of branches, creating a layer of silk-like material. These cells help speed up the process of osmosis, which functions much like the process of photosynthesis. Instead of absorbing sunlight, however, roots absorb water, which is transported through the plant or tree for different purposes.
Some water is used to perform photosynthesis, while a portion is reserved for the purpose of enabling growth of leaves, stems and buds. Some water is used to help cool leaves; the warmer and drier the surrounding air, the more water that is used for this purpose. Roots also use osmosis to draw in key minerals and nutrients required for plant growth; the intake of water and supplements often occurs simultaneously.
As with water, plants may store or immediately use minerals upon absorption. Root hair cells are generally most active after rainfall, when water is plentiful. Plants can then assume dormant states during prolonged dry spells.Learn more about Botany
A freshwater plant placed in saltwater will die because of how its environment affects the process of osmosis. The saltwater causes the freshwater within the plant to flow out, causing dehydration.Full Answer >
The scientific definition of plasmolysis is stated as the contraction of the protoplasm of cells within plants due to the loss of water through osmosis. It is when the cell membrane peels off of the cell wall and the vacuole collapses when placed in a hypertonic environment.Full Answer >
Transpiration pull theory is the proposed mechanism by which trees draw water through their roots. Transpiration occurs when the leaves of a tree allow water to exit into the air by means of tiny holes called stomata. When the water exits the leaves, the combination of capillary action, cohesion and adhesion draws more water up through the plant's roots to replace the released water.Full Answer >
Root and tuber crops are examples of specialized roots, while other specialized root types are aerial roots, parasitic roots, contractile roots and roots that can store food and water. Tuberous roots are enlarged roots that function as storage organs. Root tubers include sweet potatoes, carrots, parsnips, cassava and dahlia.Full Answer >