Transport in xylem 9.1 HL

This topic relies on a knowledge of the stucture of the leaf, its air spaces and stomata. The transport of water through a plant is driven by transpiration in the leaf. Water evaporates from the surfaces of cells and this water vapour fills the air spaces. When stomata are open diffusion takes the water vapour out of the leaf completing the process of transpiration. Xerophytic plants have adaptations to reduce this water loss.

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Revision summary list for 9.1 Transport in xylem

Leaf stomata & transpiration

  • Leaves are adapted to absorb carbon dioxide from the air
  • therefore transpiration can also occur in leaves and water is lost to the air.

Transport in xylem

  • The structure of primary xylem vessels.
  • Xylem vessels transport water from roots to leaves to replace water lost in transpiration.
  • The cohesive and adhesive properties of water molecules allow water transport under tension in xylem and cell walls.
  • The roots cells use active transport for the uptake of mineral ions (nitrates) which causes osmosis and the absorption of water.
  • Xerophytic plants in deserts have adaptations for water conservation. 

Adaptations of xerophytes

  • Xerophytic plants in deserts have adaptations for water conservation.


  • Ability to draw the structure of primary xylem vessels in stems from microscope slides.
  • Recognition of structure and function of xylem. (essential idea)
  • Use potometers to measure transpiration rates
  • Design an experiment to test hypotheses about the effects of abiotic factors on transpiration rates.

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