10. What role does root pressure play in water movement in plants?


Root pressure is the positive pressure that develops in the roots of plants by the active absorption of nutrients from the soil. When the nutrients are actively absorbed by root hairs, water (along with minerals) increases the pressure in the xylem. This pressure pushes the water up to small heights. Root pressure can be observed experimentally by cutting the stem of a well-watered plant on a humid day. When the stem is cut, the solution oozes from the cut end.

Root pressure is also linked to the phenomenon of guttation, i.e., the loss of water in the form of liquid droplets from the vein endings of certain herbaceous plants.

Root pressure is only able to transport water up to small heights. However, it helps in re-establishing the continuous chains of water molecules in the xylem.

Transpirational pull maintains the flow of water molecules from the roots to the shoots.