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Xylem and Phloem: A Plant's Dynamic Duo - Essay Example

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Sap is transported through a plant's circulatory system by the actions of the xylem and the phloem. The xylem carries mineral rich water from the roots to the rest of the plant, while the phloem carries sap, that has organic nutrients, to parts of the plant on an as needed basis…
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Xylem and Phloem: A Plants Dynamic Duo
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"Xylem and Phloem: A Plant's Dynamic Duo"

Sap is transported through a plant's circulatory system by the actions of the xylem and the phloem. The xylem carries mineral rich water from the roots to the rest of the plant, while the phloem carries sap, that has organic nutrients, to parts of the plant on an as needed basis. Though they have similar functions, the xylem and phloem have different processes by which they work and the plant puts them to different uses.In the process of moving water and minerals from the roots to the outer shoots, the sap is moved through the xylem by the action of a few different forces and physical properties. At times of minimum transpiration, minerals continue to flow into the xylem. The stele prevents these minerals from flowing back out and results in a negative water potential. Water flows in and raises the water pressure in the root causing an upward flow in the xylem. The pressure is only enough to move the sap a few meters, and may cause gluttation at night. However, the xylem relies on other forces to move water to the tips of larger plants.A major contributing force moving sap in the xylem is known as transpirational pull. During the day, water is lost through the leaves by transpiration. As this water is lost, tension on the surface of the water film becomes curved and concave. This curvature has an increased tension and results in a negative water pressure. This causes water to be pulled from areas, such as the roots, that have a higher water pressure. Read More
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