Guttation - what is it in biology?

Table of contents:

Guttation - what is it in biology?
Guttation - what is it in biology?

What is guttation? How does this happen, how does it differ from transpiration? If you are interested in these questions and want to get to the root of this process, read on.

what is guttation in biology

One can look at a plant and assume that it functions quite simply. It takes in water and uses photosynthesis to grow. While this is true, plants also have a secret life where their survival depends on the balance of water and nutrients. One way water volume is balanced is through guttation.

The process of guttation in biology

Guttation occurs in vascular plants such as grass, wheat, barley, tomatoes, strawberries and others. Since it is pressure dependent, it cannot be observed in large plants such as trees because the pressure required to displace water is too high. Guttation is when water is released from the tips of plant leaves. Typically, thisthe process occurs at night when the soil is very wet and the roots absorb water. If there is too much water, then the pressure of the root forces the water out of the plant itself.

what is guttation

Guttation and transpiration

What is guttation in biology? How is it different from transpiration? Because water is vital to plants, many plant buzzwords are related to water. Guttation and transpiration are two such words. Luckily, there are some basic differences that can help you differentiate between the two. Guttation occurs when the stomata are closed and transpiration occurs when they are open. Therefore, the first occurs at night or early in the morning when it is cold and humid. Transpiration, on the other hand, occurs during the day when it is dry and warm. During transpiration, water is expelled as vapor, while during guttation, leaves release water or xylem sap.

guttation in biology

Hydathodes and stomata

The reason guttation occurs at night (as opposed to transpiration) is because transpiration is dependent on stomata. Stomata are pores on the surface of leaves. Plants also use stomata for photosynthesis, and since photosynthesis doesn't happen at night (it can't happen without sun, after all), the stomata close.

The plant pushes water through other outlets called hydathodes. There are just as many of them, but they cannot open and close like stomata. They simply allow water to slowly exude from the plant. Hydathodes are sometimes called waterstomata, but they are more like pores.

during guttation, the leaves secrete

Small drops of liquid

Guttation is the appearance of small droplets of liquid on the leaves of plants (from Latin gutta - a drop). Some people notice this phenomenon on their houseplants. This is a completely natural and harmless process. Plants collect a lot of the moisture and nutrients they need to survive through their roots. To move them up, the plant has tiny holes in the leaves called stomata.

Evaporation of moisture through these holes creates a vacuum that pulls water and nutrients in the roots up from gravity and throughout the plant. This process is called transpiration. Transpiration stops at night when the stomata close, but the plant makes up for its needs with extra moisture through the roots and creates pressure to force the nutrients up higher. Day or night, there is constant movement inside the plant.

So when does guttation occur? The plant does not always require the same amount of moisture. At night, when the temperature drops or when the air is humid, less moisture evaporates from the leaves. However, the same amount of moisture is still stored by the root system. The pressure of this new moisture pushes out what's already in the leaves, resulting in these little beads of water.

when gutted leaves

Guttation and dew are the same thing?

Guttation is a means of removing all sorts of unnecessary and evenharmful substances. The plant in this way gets rid of excess mineral s alts and organic substances. Sometimes guttation is confused with dew drops on open plants. There is a difference between them. Simply put, dew forms on the surface of a plant from the condensation of moisture in the air. Guttation, on the other hand, is moisture coming from the plant itself.

Popular topic