Transpiration and the leaf

Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), SpellBot, Taylor (ScienceAid Editor)

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The Leaf

Below is a cross section of a leaf. This is what you would see if you looked down the leaf towards the stem.

cross sectional diagram of a leaf showing epidermis, palisade layer, mesophyll, and guard cells

The guard cells control the entry of carbon dioxide through the stomata by opening and closing. Therefore they close at night - reducing water loss.

  1. 1
    Shape.
    The long, thin shape of the leaf provides maximum surface area for receiving light.
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  2. 2
    Cuticle.
    The waxy cuticle on the top of the leaf protects it from the elements and also prevents water from escaping.
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  3. 3
    Palisade layer.
    Cells have a lot of chloroplasts (containing chlorophyll) in them - making the most of the conditions high in light on the top of the leaf.
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  4. 4
    Veins.
    Phloem carry sugar and amino acids, and xylem carry water and mineral ions from the roots.
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Transpiration

For more information on this subject see water in plants.

Transpiration is the movement of water molecules through the plant - up from the roots, through Xylem vessels and evaporating out through the stomata in the leaves.

Certain conditions affect the rate of transpiration.

  1. 1
    Temperature.
    If it is warm, water is lost because of the increased movement of the molecules.
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  2. 2
    Wind Velocity.
    The wind will blow away molecules near the stomata.
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  3. 3
    Humidity.
    Moisture in the air will slow down water loss because the concentration gradient is small.
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Article Info

Categories : Plants

Recent edits by: SpellBot, Jamie (ScienceAid Editor)

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