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WATER SHORTAGE

Water Shortage and Biological Concepts

Water is a natural element essential for both animals and plants. However, overpopulation, water pollution, and global warming, among others, have caused shortages in the water. Water scarcity is the lack of enough water or lacking access to safe waters. In plants, the water shortage affects biological activities such as photosynthesis, transpiration, and turgor pressure. Water shortage has an impact on living as it leads to the transformation of the ecosystem and, as a result, leads to the loss of biodiversity.

Analysis of Biological Concepts Related to Water Shortage

  1. Photosynthesis

All living things need nutrients and energy to survive. According to how they acquire nutrients, living things can be categorized into heterotrophs and autotrophs. Photosynthesis is how autotrophs make chemical energy from light energy and food from inorganic nutrients(Chandler, 2017). Since heterotrophs cannot make their own food and energy, they consume the autotrophs who make their food from carbon dioxide, sunlight, and water through photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is an essential biological process in plants.

  1. Transpiration

Transpiration is how plants carry moisture to the underside pores on the leaves from the roots. Factors affecting transpiration rate include relative humidity, temperature, light, wind, and soil water. Transpiration helps create negative pressure in plants, drawing minerals and nutrients from the soil up to the leaves, has a cooling effect on animals, and encourages the exchange of gases and supporting photosynthesis.

  1. Turgor Pressure

Plants also need water for the turgor pressure. Turgor pressure is the pressure that exists in plant cells due to water. This pressure is what makes the plant tissues rigid. Loss of water in the plant cells causes wilting in the leaves and flowers(Fricke, 2017). The pressure is vital for the stomata opening and closing.

The connection of these Biological Processes to Water Shortage

As discussed above, photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their own food and energy. This process requires water to happen, i.e., 6CO2 + 6H2O + light energy­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­----C6H12O6 + 6O2. This, therefore, means that in times of water shortages, the entire production mechanism in plants is slowed down, and so is the rearrangement of the apparatus of photosynthesis (Hubbard, 2012). The reduction of this activity negatively reduces both the amount of chlorophyll in plants and the life of plants.

Unlike photosynthesis, transpiration wholly depends on water. The water carried through the plant leaves is let out in the small pore found underside the leaves. Thereafter, the water evaporates, giving a cooling effect on the plants. Water shortage, therefore, affects the process. Plants may then wither and die due to a lack of cooling effect.

Turgor pressure, as explained above, is a hydrostatic pressure in the plant cells at normal atmospheric pressure. To build up maintenance in plant cells, turgor pressure requires the following five components: selectively permeable membrane, solutes, metabolic energy, wall, and water. Thus with limited water, turgor pressure cannot hold, and therefore the plants might wilt out.

Characteristics of Life

Literally, photosynthesis is the source of all the chemical energy required by all living things. Without photosynthesis, plants can neither grow nor produce, and so are animals and other plants that depend on them for chemical energy.

Impact on Health

If a total balance in the ecosystem is to exist, then transpiration has to happen. Through transpiration, plants give out excess water. The cooling effect brought by transpiration on plants is enjoyed by animals too. However, the transpiration process can contribute to the drying up of rivers during the dry season as plants take a lot of water to realize cooling.


References

Chandler, D. (2017, April 25). Why Is Photosynthesis So Important to Plants? Retrieved from https://sciencing.com/photosynthesis-important-plants-6390731.html

Fricke, W. (2017, January). Turgor Pressure. Retrieved from http://www.els.net/WileyCDA/ElsArticle/refId-a0001687.html

Hubbard, B. (2012, November 19). The Power of Photosynthesis. Retrieved from https://helix.northwestern.edu/article/power-photosynthesis




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