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Chapter: 11th Botany : Chapter 11 : Transport in Plants

Factors Affecting Rate of Transpiration in Plants

The factors affecting the rate of transpiration can be categorized into two groups.

Factors Affecting Rate of Transpiration

The factors affecting the rate of transpiration can be categorized into two groups. They are 1. External or Environmental factors and 2. Internal or plant factors.


1. External or Environmental factors


i.  Atmospheric humidity: The rate of transpiration is greatly reduced when the atmosphere is very humid. As the air becomes dry, the rate of transpiration is also increased proportionately.


ii.  Temperature: With the increase in atmospheric temperature, the rate of transpiration also increases. However, at very high-temperatures stomata closes because of flaccidity and transpiration stop.


iii.  Light: Light intensity increases the temperature. As in temperature, transpiration is increased in high light intensity and is decreased in low light intensity. Light also increases the permeability of the cell membrane, making it easy for water molecules to move out of the cell.


iv.  Wind velocity: In still air, the surface above the stomata get saturated with water vapours and there is no need for more water vapour to come out. If the wind is breezy, water vapour gets carried away near leaf surface and DPD is created to draw more vapour from the leaf cells enhancing transpiration. However, high wind velocity creates an extreme increase in water loss and leads to a reduced rate of transpiration and stomata remain closed. 

v.  Atmospheric pressure : In low atmospheric pressure, the rate of transpiration increases. Hills favour high transpiration rate due to low atmospheric pressure. However, it is neutralized by low temperature prevailing in the hills.


vi.  Water: Adequate amount of water in the soil is a pre-requisite for optimum plant growth. Excessive loss of water through transpiration leads to wilting. In general, there are three types of wilting as follows,


a.  Incipient wilting : Water content of plant cell decreases but the symptoms are not visible.


b.  Temporary wilting: On hot summer days, the freshness of herbaceous plants reduces turgor pressure at the day time and regains it at night.


c.  Permanent wilting: The absorption of water virtually ceases because the plant cell does not get water from any source and the plant cell passes into a state of permanent wilting.


2. Internal factors


i. Leaf area: If the leaf area is more, transpiration is faster and so xerophytes reduce their leaf size.

ii.  Leaf structure: Some anatomical features of leaves like sunken stomata, the presence of hairs, cuticle, the presence of hydrophilic substances like gum, mucilage help to reduce the rate of transpiration. In xerophytes the structural modifications are remarkable. To avoid transpiration, as in Opuntia the stem is flattened to look like leaves called Phylloclade. Cladode or cladophyll in Asparagus is a modified stem capable of limited growth looking like leaves. In some plants, the petioles are flattened and widened, to become phyllodes example Acacia melanoxylon.

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11th Botany : Chapter 11 : Transport in Plants : Factors Affecting Rate of Transpiration in Plants |

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