Water is transported inside plants by tube-like cells called xylem. The process relies on both osmotic pressure and capillary action.
Water is first absorbed by a plant's porous roots after rainfall and passes into the root xylem. Then, by way of osmotic pressure, the water is moved up the plant's stem or trunk. Also referred to as root pressure, osmotic pressure cannot move the water very high up the plant; about 20 feet at most. In a tall tree that would not be enough, so capillary action must take over at this point.
When water evaporates out of leaves, the void left behind causes the water in the xylem below to be pulled upwards. When combined with capillary action, these processes allow water to reach all parts of the plant.Learn More
Plants normally use water in various processes including photosynthesis, transpiration, support system and nutrient distribution. Without a sufficient supply of water, plants may not develop well and some may even die.Full Answer >
Nonvascular plants, which lack a vascular system, absorb water from nearby water sources. They distribute water to their parts through the slow process of capillary action, diffusion and cytoplasmic streaming.Full Answer >
The xylem helps in the movement of water from the root to the leaves. Two types of cells in the xylem, tracheids and vessels, form tubes that allow water to move up the plant. Tracheids are found in all vascular plants, but vessels are only found in flowering plants.Full Answer >
The release of water vapor into the atmosphere by plants is called transpiration. It produces about 10 percent of the atmosphere's water vapor and is affected by factors such as humidity, temperature, soil type, precipitation and wind.Full Answer >