Transpiration - Anthony M Cavallaro Biology 108 Section 4...

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Anthony M. Cavallaro Biology 108 Section 4 Measuring Transpiration I. Introduction Transpiration is the process by which plants lose water. The opening of the plant’s stomata allows water vapor to exit the leaf, such as during the gas exchange of photosynthesis, and water vapor diffuses into the surrounding environment. Transpiration is affected by the relative humidity of the atmosphere where the plant is found. In dry conditions, the amount of water lost can be quite high. Inversely, in humid conditions, a plant can have its stomata open and suffer very little loss of water (Biology 108 Laboratory Manual 25). This process is extremely important to plants. Transpiration provides the majority of the energy required to pull water and minerals from the roots of the plant to the shoots. This process also allows plants to regulate the amount of water they lose. For plants in dry environments, this is critical . Transpiration drives the conduction of water to organs, such as leaves, which are quite far from the roots. Transpiration also acts as cooling procedure when water evaporates off of areas of the plant in direct sunlight. To measure the rate of transpiration of a Helianthus plant, a potometer will be used. As a control, the transpiration rates will be measured for fifteen minutes with the plant in direct exposure to light.
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