Roots' Function in Life Support System of Plants Roots are equal in importance to leaves as the life support system for
plants. Roots are Carbon pumps that feed soil organisms and contribute
to soil organic matter, Storage organs, Chemical factories that may
change soil pH, poison competitors, they filter out toxins,
concentrate rare elements, etc. They are sensor network that helps
regulate plant growth, they are absorptive network for limiting soil
resources of water and nutrients they have mechanical structures that
support plants, strengthen soil, construct channels and break rocks.
The epidermis is the outmost layer of roots that functions as the
interface between plants and the soil. Cells of the epidermis of young
roots. Epidermal cells often have narrow projections called root hairs
that extend between soil particles. Root hairs may be long or short,
dense, spares, or absent altogether. Root hairs are considered to help
in direct mineral nutrient uptake by increasing the surface are of
roots. Roots also require minerals. Most importantly they need
nitrates. Nitrates from the soil are combined with carbohydrates from
photosynthesis to make proteins. All proteins contain nitrogen. Plants
get their nitrogen from nitrates. A plant with a shortage of nitrates
will suffer from poor growth and yellow leaves. Another mineral
required by plants is magnesium. Magnesium is needed to make
chlorophyll. Magnesium deficiency leads to yellow leaves. Plants
without minerals and nitrates will wilt. The xylem tubes in a plant
are dead cells, the carry water up through the plant, their secondary
function is to support the plant.
Water, like any other substance can come in all different
concentrations. Pure water is the most concentrated of them all. If we
have a concentration gradient, with the water being more concentrated
in one part of a solution than another, the continuous movement of the
water molecules will cause them to diffuse until the concentration is
even all over. Osmosis is a special case of the diffusion of water.
Osmosis occurs when water diffuses across a semi-permeable membrane.
Diffusion is the movement of particles from an area of high
concentration to an area of low concentration until a point of
equilibrium is reached....