Environment — 29 March 2013


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Why do plants need air

Just like us and other living creatures on the earth, plants also need air to survive. While we, the human beings, need air only to breathe in, the plants need it for making their food as well. During the day and night time, plants inhale oxygen for survival. They absorb oxygen through pores found on undersides of the leaves. The oxygen spreads into the live cells of plants and makes them breathe. Carbon dioxide also seeps out through these pores.

Along with 24/7  requirement of oxygen, plants also need carbon dioxide during the day for making their food. In the presence of sunlight, the chlorophyll in leaves makes food with the help of water in the soil and carbon dioxide in the air. This process is known as photosynthesis. For photosynthesis, plants also inhale carbon dioxide through the same pores. So, plants need air for two reasons – respiration and photosynthesis.

In fact, plants are the nature’s greatest recycling agents. While all living creatures, animals and plants exhale carbon dioxide as a waste product of respiration, plants take up it during day time for making their food. During this process of making food or photosynthesis, plants convert carbon dioxide and water into oxygen.

Besides, plants do not need as much oxygen as animals or human beings, because they are stationery and they have different metabolic needs. This way, the earth never runs out of oxygen because plants continuously keep converting carbon dioxide into oxygen and keep seeping carbon dioxide for photosynthesis.

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Written by Ritu Insaan

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

About Author

A homemaker, social worker and a mother, Ritu Insaan holds an MBA degree in Public Health. She has worked in the rural areas of northern India for the upliftment of less privileged sections of society. Whenever she finds free time amidst her busy schedule, she does freelance writing for a number of websites.

(1) Reader Comment

  1. Ok so theoretically speaking, say I have a greenhouse or grow room of sorts that is completely sealed off from fresh air. If I synthetically produce co2 into the room using a co2 producer or co2 tanks to maintain the proper levels of co2 to keep the plants happy (researched that 1500 ppm of co2 is very good) would this lack of fresh air be ok? In theory, there would be no intake except the co2 coming from the co2 tank, and the air would only be pushing it’s way outside of the enclosure. Since plants not only require, but produce oxygen as a byproduct from photosynthesis, (the room would supply proper lighting and soil/water, and would be given co2 to induce photosynthesis) would the byproduct of photosynthesis be enough to supply the plants with the proper levels of oxygen? Or should it be taken into consideration to have an intake of fresh air “and/or” oxygen produced from oxygen tanks. Any help would be very grateful

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