Transport in Plants - 2 The leaf area index, the ratio of the upper leaf area to the area of the plant, is one way to measure the plant's ability to capture light energy. Root Structure and Water and Mineral Acquisition In a similar fashion, branching roots, with root tips having root hairs to increase surface area for absorption, maximize the root's ability to take advantage of local resource regions in their substrate. A significant advance in land plants was the co-evolution with mycorrhizae fungi, discussed previously, which increases surface area for resource extraction for both plant and fungus. Transport in Plants Our plant ancestors were aquatic filamentous or laminar (sheet like) organisms whose cells came into contact with their environmental medium, which also supported the plant body. Water and needed nutrients were readily available to individual cells, and little if any differentiation of plant tissues occurred. Migration to land and differentiation of the plant body into tissues and organs required
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