The structure and functioning of plants, even that of massive 100-metre tall trees, is dependent on the structure of, and processes occurring in, microscopic cells. In this book we look at the major organelles in cells, the range of cell types in plants and how they are combined into tissues to create functioning leaves and other organs.
Some cells are specialised for strength, others are specialised for protection, for storage, for gas exchange, for transport or for photosynthesis. These properties are assisted by differences in the construction of the cell walls, differences in the shapes of the cells and variation in organelle content.
We are introduced to the combining of cells to create plant tissues and tissue systems. The dermal tissue system provides protection for the exposed surfaces of the plant. It is specialised to allow gas exchange and control dehydration. The vascular tissue system allows long distance transport of water and nutrients from the roots to the shoots, and transport of sugars throughout the plant. The third tissue system, the ground tissue system, is important for photosynthesis and storage.
Tissue systems in turn create the stems, leaves, roots and reproductive organs of plants.
This book was created to support teaching of an introductory unit on plant environmental physiology at Charles Darwin University. It makes use of various images of cells and tissues to introduce and illustrate the range of plant organelles, cells, tissues and organs.