Absorption of Moisture by Crops
Absorption of water is not dependent of process but it is related to transpiration. Absorption is controlled by rate of water loss in transpiration at least when water is readily available to the roots. Absorption and transpiration are linked by the continuous water column in xylem system of plants. Due to the loss of water in transpiration, it produces the energy gradient which causes the movement of water from soil in to the plants and from plants to atmosphere. In the maintenance of water column in xylem, the cohesive and adhesive properties of water play important role.
Moisture enters in to plant roots by process of osmosis (movement of liquid through semi permeable membrane caused by unequal concentration on the two sides). The concentration of soluble material in cell sap of roots is increased because of loss of water through transpiration. When concentration of soluble material in cell sap within roots is greater then the soil moisture, the water passes in the roots to equalize the concentration. A more correct view to consider the concentration of water molecule in cell sap reduced because of quantity of soluble substances present and hence the number of water molecules in the soil solution is greater. As a result more water molecules strike against cell wall and water passes into the roots from the zone of higher concentration of water to a zone of lower concentration of water.
When the concentration of soluble substances in the soil moisture exceeds that cell sap, situation will be reserved and water will pass out of the roots to the soil. Plants growing in saline soils with high concentration of soluble salts absorb water with difficulty due to high osmotic pressure of the soil solution.
The absorption of water by plants is closely related with transpiration. The sun provides energy for vaporization of water from leaves. Loss of water from leaf cells cause an increase in interior osmotic pressure which causes water to move in to them from xylem vessels. The xylem vessels of leaf are continuous with that of stem and roots and cause a tension created by loss of water from leaf to be transmitted to roots. Increased osmotic pressure in root cells occurs and uptake of water is encouraged. The absorption of water takes place in terminal portion of roots but the maximum absorption takes place in the zone of root hairs, 1 to 10cm behind root tip.
In other words, water is absorbed mainly through roots hairs. Root absorbs water both passively and actively.
Passive absorption takes place when water is drawn into the roots by negative pressure in the conducting tissues created by transpiration.
Under the conditions during which there is little transpiration, the roots of many plants absorb water by spending energy that is called active absorption. Under normal conditions of transpiration, the contribution of active absorption to the water supply of plant is negligible and it is usually less than 10 percent of total absorption.
Certain plants are able to absorb moisture from the atmosphere when soil is at permanent wilting point. This is known as aerial absorption or negative transpiration. Direct absorption of water by leaves that are wetted by rain, dew or overhead irrigation can help to resaturate dehydrated leaf tissue.
The leaves are borne through out the stem in all plants which are mainly responsible for the loss of water. The leaf surface shows small pores surrounded by two cells. The pores are called stoma and cells surrounding them are called guard cells. The stoma (stomata) regulates the loss of water as vapour and exchange of CO2 in leaf and other organs. It is thus the efficiency of these structures which possibly determine water loss from plant. The efficiency of the stomata up on their size and number per unit area.