Plant Respiration Diagram and Definition
Respiration is a process fundamental to every living organism. Plants have their unique way of respiration and breathing. Plants produce sugars by a process called photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is a process where sugar and essential nutrients are produced in the presence of sunlight. The plant converts atmospheric carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar. The recycled oxygen is then released into the atmosphere.
The process of respiration is opposite to the process of photosynthesis. Respiration occurs in only the leaves, stems, and roots whereas photosynthesis takes place in both leaves and stems.
The process of respiration taking place in the mitochondria with the help of oxygen is called aerobic respiration. The process that takes place in the absence of oxygen is called anaerobic respiration.
Let us look at the two types of respiration in more detail:
- Aerobic respiration-
Oxygen is an essential component in this type of respiration. Oxygen helps in the breakdown of high-energy organic components like glucose into low-energy components like water and carbon dioxide.
A high amount of energy is released from respiration which is utilized for ATP synthesis. The complete oxidation of a single glucose molecule produces 38 ATP molecules.
- Anaerobic respiration-
Anaerobic respiration is also known as intramolecular respiration. It takes place in the absence of oxygen and focuses on alcoholic fermentation. Oxidation is incomplete since oxygen is not present. Therefore, the energy released in this process is significantly less.
This process usually takes place in the cytoplasm of the plant. Anaerobic oxidation of one glucose molecule produces only 2 ATP molecules.
These are the two types of respiration processes taking place in a plant. This process is a necessity and a need for survival because it provides energy to the body. This process takes place in three main places in the plant body. Let us look at the process that takes place in each part individually.
- Respiration in the roots:
The process of respiration takes place in the roots of the plants by absorbing essential nutrients and oxygenated air. These components are absorbed with the help of root hairs. Root hairs are generally in direct contact with the soil containing all the essential elements. The oxygen present in the soil particle is diffused into the root hair.
Once the root absorbs the oxygen and the essential nutrients from the soil, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. The released carbon dioxide is again used by the plant leaves for photosynthesis, thereby producing food for the plant.
- Respiration in stems:
The stems of every plant contain an opening called the stomata opening. This stomata pore is located at the epidermis of the stem whereas the lenticels are situated at the periderm of the stem. Both the stomata and the lenticels allow the entry of oxygen into the plant's intercellular space.
The oxygen that enters the plant's body travels to different parts and is used for respiration. After this process, carbon dioxide is released back into the atmosphere. Therefore, the lenticels are typically used only in bigger or higher plants.
- Respiration in leaves:
Stomata openings and pores are largely present on the surfaces of the leaves. In this case of respiration, the exchange of gases takes place only through these pores. Initially, the oxygen from the atmosphere is absorbed by the stomata, which travels to every part of the plant by a process called diffusion.
After the respiration is done in every part of the plant, carbon dioxide is given out by the stomata opening from the leaves back into the atmosphere. Specialized cells known as guard cells are responsible for the stomata opening and closing during processes involving the exchange of gaseous components.
Respiration is a fundamental process of the plants since they get the oxygen that is needed for various internal processes, thereby releasing carbon dioxide. This process is what provides them with all the crucial and necessary energy to the body. However, a few respiration processes occur in complete dark environmental conditions and are known as dark respiration.