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In Some Plants Stomata Is Closed During Day, How Is Food Made in Such Plants? What Are These Plants Called?
In the world of botany, there are many fascinating plant species that have adapted to survive in various environments. Some of these plants have evolved to have unique characteristics that enable them to thrive even in challenging conditions.
One of the most interesting adaptations is the ability of some plants to close their stomata during the day, which can have a significant impact on their ability to produce food. In this article, we will explore the science behind this phenomenon and take a closer look at the plants that exhibit this behaviour.
What Are Stomata?
Before we delve into the topic of closed stomata, it's important to understand what stomata are and what their role is in plant physiology. Stomata are tiny pores or openings found on the surface of leaves and stems of plants. These pores play a critical role in the exchange of gases, particularly carbon dioxide and oxygen.
During the process of photosynthesis, plants take in carbon dioxide from the atmosphere through the stomata and release oxygen back into the air. In addition, stomata also regulate the loss of water vapor from the plant, a process known as transpiration.
How Do Stomata Work?
Stomata are made up of two specialized cells called guard cells. These cells surround the pore and are responsible for controlling the opening and closing of the stomata. When the guard cells are turgid, or swollen with water, the stomata are open, allowing gases to pass through.
Conversely, when the guard cells are flaccid, the stomata are closed, preventing gas exchange. This process is controlled by a variety of factors, including light, temperature, and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
Closed Stomata During the Day
Now that we understand the basics of stomata and their role in plant physiology, let's turn our attention to the phenomenon of closed stomata during the day. While most plants open their stomata during the day to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, some plants have evolved to close their stomata during the day, which can have a significant impact on their ability to produce food.
Plants that exhibit this behaviour are known as CAM (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) plants. CAM plants are typically found in hot and dry environments, where water is scarce. These plants have evolved to keep their stomata closed during the day to reduce water loss through transpiration. Instead, they open their stomata at night when the air is cooler and more humid, allowing them to take in carbon dioxide while minimizing water loss.
But how do CAM plants produce food if their stomata are closed during the day? The answer lies in the unique way that these plants carry out photosynthesis. While most plants use the C3 or C4 photosynthetic pathways, CAM plants use a modified pathway that allows them to store carbon dioxide at night for use during the day.
During the night, when the stomata of CAM plants are open, carbon dioxide is taken in and converted into a four-carbon acid molecule, which is then stored in the plant's cells. During the day, when the stomata are closed, the stored carbon dioxide is released from the cells and used for photosynthesis.
This process allows CAM plants to continue photosynthesizing even when their stomata are closed, minimizing water loss and allowing them to survive in hot and dry environments.
Examples of CAM Plants
There are many different types of CAM plants found throughout the world, including cacti, succulents, and certain orchids. Let's take a closer look at some of the most common examples of CAM plants:
Cacti are perhaps the most well-known examples of CAM plants. These desert-dwelling plants are adapted to survive in hot and arid environments, and have evolved a variety of unique adaptations to help them conserve water. In addition to closed stomata during the day, cacti also have thick, waxy skins that prevent water loss and specialized root systems that allow them to absorb as much water as possible from the soil.
The pineapple plant is another example of a CAM plant. Pineapples are native to South America and are grown commercially in tropical regions around the world. Like other CAM plants, pineapples close their stomata during the day to reduce water loss and open them at night to take in carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.
Agave plants are native to Mexico and the southwestern United States and are used to make tequila, among other things. These plants have thick, fleshy leaves that store water and are adapted to survive in arid environments. Like other CAM plants, agave closes its stomata during the day to conserve water.
The jade plant is a succulent native to South Africa and Mozambique. Like other succulents, the jade plant has thick, fleshy leaves that store water and help it survive in arid environments. The plant is also a CAM plant, closing its stomata during the day to conserve water.
Benefits of CAM Photosynthesis
The ability of CAM plants to close their stomata during the day has several benefits. First, it allows the plants to conserve water, which is essential in hot and dry environments. By opening their stomata at night when the air is cooler and more humid, these plants can take in carbon dioxide while minimizing water loss.
In addition, CAM photosynthesis allows these plants to continue producing food even when conditions are not ideal for photosynthesis. By storing carbon dioxide at night and using it during the day, CAM plants can continue to produce energy even when the sun is high and water is scarce.
In conclusion, the ability of CAM plants to close their stomata during the day is a fascinating adaptation that allows these plants to survive in hot and dry environments.
By storing carbon dioxide at night and using it during the day, these plants can continue to produce energy even when conditions are not ideal for photosynthesis. Whether you're growing cacti in your garden or enjoying a delicious pineapple, it's important to appreciate the unique adaptations of CAM plants and the role they play in our ecosystem
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