When you walk for a few minutes in the sun or jog on a hot day, you start to sweat and would want to rest in shade. Who is better than a tree to provide shade and a cool breeze? Have you ever wondered how the plant can stay so healthy, green and survive in the hot sun without any cover? Does a plant sweat ?
Do the plants have their own sunscreen? Can you imagine a plant applying sunscreen to its leaves? In a way, it is true that the plants have their own cooling mechanism to survive the harsh sun and the story we are talking about today will cover an important aspect of this technique.
How plants sweat
When plants face excessive heating, they cool themselves by sweating! Yes. You read it right. Plants sweat too. We have already covered many aspects of how plants can hear, see, smell, taste and can feel touch. Today, we will understand how plants regulate their body heat by sweating, just like us.
We know that plants absorb water from the ground through their roots and send them up to the branches and leaves. When the water is excess or needs to be sent out, it is exited from the leaves through their stomata. As the stomata open up and let the water evaporate, they cool the plant and the air around the leaves. This is the reason for the air around the trees to be cooler on a hot day. I am sure you all experienced it. Now you know why!
Why plants sweat?
Apart from just cooling the air around the plants, this sweating effect has other advantages. It helps the plant to excrete the excess water to make way freshwater being absorbed. Secreting excess water can help the plant regulate and control its heat to maintain a stable ‘body’ temperature to be healthy. If the humidity gets too high, the plant closes its stomata and retains water. If there is too much water loss and not enough intake, the plants stop growing and eventually dies.
On a larger scale, when monitored, plants sweating/transpiration patterns can be used to predict the water level in an area, early signs of drought, temperature changes in the area, data to design watering schedule for farmers, curtailing forest fires, predicting heatwaves and so on. In other words, we can track, monitor and take action about global warming at a local level. No wonder there is so much interest now in studying how plants sweat and how we are impacted.
Did you know the amount of sweat from plants amounts to ~10% of moisture in our atmosphere (As per NASA).
Next time you are around a plant and feel the chill breeze, remember that the plant might be sweating and even that is cool.
WHAT IS PLANTSCIENCE?
PlantScience blog is an insightful discussion to understand and explain the science behind the great success of plants – how plants live, survive. Nature at its best is a great repository of knowledge and most of it is still a mystery to our minds. However, at Atrimed PlantScience, we have willed ourselves to research, understand the best-kept secrets of Nature and use that knowledge to the betterment of our health. We believe in thinking beyond, knowing beyond and using the best research capabilities to understand the science plants use to live, thrive, adapt and grow. In this blog, you would find details of some interesting plant facts, the science behind them, snippets of history, updates about science and many interesting secrets. Read, subscribe, share your comments about PlantScience with us. Thank you!
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