Notes on Gaseous Exchange in plants and animals
By the end of the topic, the learner should be able to:
GASEOUS EXCHANGE (36 LESSONS)
Gaseous exchange in living organisms (necessity)
Gaseous Exchange in Plants
Respiratory diseases: Asthma, Bronchitis, Pulmonary tuberculosis, Pneumonia and whooping cough
Observe permanent slides of cross- sections of aerial and aquatic leaves and stems
Examine the distribution of spiracles on grasshopper or locust
Examine the gills of a bony fish
Dissect a small mammal and identify the structures of the respiratory system (demonstration) Construct and use models to demonstrate breathing mechanisms in a mammal (human) Demonstrate the effect of exercise on the rate of breathing
INTRODUCTION TO GASEOUS EXCHANGE IN PLANTS AND ANIMALS
Necessity for Gaseous Exchange in Living Organisms
Gaseous Exchange in Plants
Structure of Guard Cells
Mechanism of Opening and Closing of Stomata
Proposed causes of turgor changes in guard cells.
Accumulation of sugar.
Explanation is based on accumulation of potassium
Process of Gaseous Exchange in Root Stem and Leaves of Aquatic and Terrestrial Plants
Gaseous Exchange in leaves of Terrestrial Plants
Gaseous exchange takes place by diffusion.
The structure of the leaf is adapted for gaseous exchange by having intercellular spaces that are filled.
These are many and large in the spongy mesophyll.
When stomata are open, carbon (IV) oxide from the atmosphere diffuses into the substomatal air chambers.
From here, it moves into the intercellular space in the spongy mesophyll layer.
The CO2 goes into solution when it comes into contact with the cell surface and diffuses into the cytoplasm. A concentration gradient is maintained between the cytoplasm of the cells and the intercellular spaces. CO2 therefore continues to diffuse into the cells.
The oxygen produced during photosynthesis moves out of the cells and into the intercellular spaces.
From here it moves to the substomatal air chambers and eventually diffuses out of the leaf through the stomata. At night oxygen enters the cells while CO2 moves out.
Gaseous exchange in the leaves of aquatic (floating) plants
Transverse section of leaves of an aquatic plant such as Nymphaea differs from that of terrestrial plant.
The following are some of the features that can be observed in the leave of an aquatic plant;
Gaseous Exchange through Stems
Stems of woody plants have narrow openings or slits at intervals called lenticels.
They are surrounded by loosely arranged cells where the bark is broken.
They have many large air intercellular spaces through which gaseous exchange occurs.
Oxygen enters the cells by diffusion while carbon (IV) oxide leaves.
Unlike the rest of the bark, lenticels are permeable to gases and water.
Aquatic Plant Stems
The water lily, Salvia and Wolfia whose stems remain in water are permeable to air and water.
Oxygen dissolved in the water diffuses through the stem into the cells and carbon (IV) oxide diffuses out into the water.
Gaseous Exchange in Roots
Gaseous exchange occurs in the root hair of young terrestrial plants.
Oxygen in the air spaces in the soil dissolves in the film of moisture surrounding soil particles and diffuses into the root hair along a concentration gradient.
It diffuses from root hair cells into the cortex where it is used for respiration.
Carbon (IV) oxide diffuses in the opposite direction.
In older roots of woody plants, gaseous exchange takes place through lenticels.
Roots of aquatic plants e.g. water lily are permeable to water and gases.
Oxygen from the water diffuses into roots along a concentration gradient.
Carbon (IV) oxide diffuses out of the roots and into the water.
The roots have many small lateral branches to increase the surface area for gaseous exchange.
They have air spaces that help the plants to float.
Mangroove plants grow in permanently waterlogged soils, muddy beaches and at estuaries.
They have roots that project above the ground level.
These are known as breathing roots or pneumatophores.
These have pores through which gaseous exchange takes place e.g. in Avicenia the tips of the roots have pores.
Others have respiratory roots with large air spaces.
These questions are good for group discussions in and out of a classroom environment they can also be used in a question and answer brainstorming sessions
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