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Thread: Simple question of absorption

  1. #1 Simple question of absorption 
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    A small plant is stripped off its leaves and is placed in a beaker containing water. The water surface is covered with oil to prevent evaporation of water. Will the plant absorb water within a couple of hours or so?


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  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
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    This sounds horribly like a homework question. There are several posters here who would be happy to help you with this, but only if you show some initiative. What do you think might happen? Why do you think this might happen? Lay out your ideas on the question and where you are uncertain. Just don't expect other to do all your work for you.
    Welcome to the forum by the way.


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  4. #3  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    This sounds horribly like a homework question. There are several posters here who would be happy to help you with this, but only if you show some initiative. What do you think might happen? Why do you think this might happen? Lay out your ideas on the question and where you are uncertain. Just don't expect other to do all your work for you.
    Welcome to the forum by the way.
    It isnt a homework question. But I will provide my views on it. I think it wont draw any water 'cause it has been stripped of all its leaves. No transpiration, no suction pull. no photosynthesis, no higher conc. inside the plant, no osmosis. Am i right??
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  5. #4  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard paralith's Avatar
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    You seem to be on the right track, though you might not have all the details down. Water transpires from a plant because of a pressure gradient; the humidity in the air (very low) is far below the humidity within the plant (nearly 100%), so a negative pressure pulls water out from the leaves. If you submerge a plant in water, both the interior and the exterior of the plant are under the same (100%) humidity, so there is no longer a pressure gradient present to move the water out of the plant. Even with the leaves gone, the area where the leaves attached to the stem still holds all the xylem vessels and the water within them. However, the plant may still absorb a certain amount of water through its roots, until the whole plant is effectively water logged.
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  6. #5  
    Administrator KALSTER's Avatar
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    Guttation, if I remember correctly, is when droplets form at the tips of leaves, when the plant is sealed off from the outside. It just keeps on sucking water in through its roots, even though it is much more than is needed. Is this as a result of the capillary action of the xylem? If so, I'd guess that it would continue producing water from the attach points of the leaves, provided that it is not too exposed to conditions that would speed up evaporation (direct sunlight, low humidity).
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