Transport systems in plants

Plants need for a transport system must be clearly understood by GCSE Biology students. The fact that plants have in effect two different transport systems needs to be explained in terms of how the structure of xylem and phloem are adapted to their functions. Students need to be able to explain how water and mineral ions are taken up by plants, relating the structure of root hairs to their function. Both the processes of translocation and transpiration need to be described; this includes the structure and function of stomata. GCSE Biology students need to be able to explain the effect of a variety of environmental factors on the rate of water uptake by a plant, including light intensity, air movement and temperature.

When delivering this topic, it is important to remind students that plants are multicellular organisms, just like animals and as such that they contain differentiated cells, tissues and organs. Students often display confusion that plants contain tissues and organs and when asked to name a particular tissue in a plant and it's function they are unable to do so or when asked to name a tissue they state an organ (for example root). 

Another common misconception is that the only way that water is used by plants is for transpiration, when delivering this topic make sure to stress that water is also used to maintain structure and in cellular processes. 

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