Root Functions

Water Uptake for evaporative cooling, etc.
Mineral Uptake from soil
Conduction of water and minerals to rest of plant
Anchorage of plant - growth of roots through soil
Tap root- resists blowdown of tall trees in wind
poor uprooting resistance
Fibrous roots - plants blow down easily (does it matter?)
fabulous uprooting resistance (grazing pressure)
Many plants have a compromise!
Storage of nutrients - especially starch, sugars, minerals, others
particularly in winter, then moved up in sap flow--Maple Syrup!

Root Structure/Function

Root Hairs - cell extensions of epidermis increase absorptive surface
Epidermis - water and non-selective mineral intake via root hairs
Cortex - storage parenchyma (starch, sugar, etc.)
Endodermis - selective mineral pump (concentrates particular minerals as it pumps them into xylem area)
Pericycle - origin of lateral roots in young areas, bark on older roots
Vascular Cylinder
Phloem - conducts nutrients from leaves
(Cambium - makes wood-woody plants only)
Xylem - conducts minerals and water up

This page © Ross E. Koning 1994.

The MLA citation style for this page would be:
Koning, Ross E. "Roots". Plant Physiology Website. 1994. (your visit date).

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