What is transportation? Movement of a thing from one place to another by using a means for traveling. Transportation of food and water in the plants happens exactly on this concept.
As we know, food and water are very necessary for the survival of every living thing. Humans, animals, and plants fall into the category of living things. We all know about the food and water intake method of humans and animals but what about the plants? How do they get food and water?
Plants don’t have the mouth for eating and drinking like humans and animals then how do plants obtain food for growth? The answer is that plants have special internal structures for the transport of food and water. If you are too curious about seeing, we recommend you to visit microscope log and find at least a 2000X microscope that fits your budget, but any plant in and observe it.
Vascular plants have special tissues for transportation, these are the xylem and phloem. Xylem is for the transportation of water and minerals while phloem is for the transportation of food.
Vascular plants are larger than non-vascular plants. This is just because of internal tissues. These tissues are not only used for the transportation of water and food but also give the sport of the plant. Xylems are although made of wood so vascular plants are the strongest type of plants. Basically, this is the reason for their survival in the hardest weather.
Non-vascular plants don’t have specialized tissue for the transportation of food and water. That’s why they don’t have true shoots, leaves, and stems as the vascular plants have. Due to the absence of xylem and phloem, they don’t have true roots, leaves, and shoots like the vascular plants.
They are the smallest type of plants found mostly in shady, swaps, and bogs areas as they need water every time to keep the cell surface wet. They get minerals and water through osmosis and diffusion from the moist environment.
They are strong enough to withstand the dehydration weather until the recovery of plants without any damage to the internal structure. Liverworts, hornworts, and mosses are the types of non-vascular plants.
The internal structure may vary in all types of plants but the mode of transportation is necessarily the same. You can read more about vascular and non-vascular plants on biomadam.
Transportation of food and water
Every plant has roots and most of the roots lie under the soil. The soil has many nutrients, water, and minerals, etc. Roots suck the water and minerals from the soil and both things are taken up to the upper part of the plant. Water and minerals move to the upper part through the xylem tissues. The upper part of the plant is called the leaves. Water and minerals are gathered in the leaves.
Here photosynthesis happens in the presence of sunlight and oxygen. As a result of photosynthesis, food is manufactured here. From here, the food is carried to the other parts of the plants like other leaves, shoots and storage organs, etc. This transportation of food (from the site of production to the site of utilization) is done by the phloem tissue.
Here a question arises how water and minerals travel through the xylem? How does water sucks this stuff? I will explain the answer through an example.
When you drink water or juice through a straw, have you ever noticed that you pull up the water through your mouth? You put a pulling force on the water and water comes up by traveling through the straw. Transportation in the xylem happens the same as this principle.
Let’s discuss how it happens
We already know leaves are the aerial part of the plants. They are all the time in the process of transpiration. Transpiration is the process of losing water from the surface of leaves. When water is lost from the surface of the plants, it produces low pressures then a pulling force is produced as the result of low pressure. Through this pulling force, roots suck the water and minerals from the soil.
Plants are in the process of transportation of water, minerals, and food. Food is made up as a result of photosynthesis after the transportation of water and minerals in the leaves. This food is used by the other parts of plants for their growth. Transportation of food through phloem is called translocation.