|Why do plant cells need to live?|
|Question Date: 2015-09-08|
Although plants don’t seem like they do anything,
they are just as alive as us. Even though
plants don’t move like animals and other living
things, they still have a lot of different
functions they need to accomplish to survive. They
appear simple from the outside, but they are
actually very complex.
The way the universe works, things that appear
organized like a plant tend to become more
disorganized with time. To grow and reproduce, a
plant needs energy so it needs to be alive to use
energy over and over again. If plant cells
weren’t alive, they
would be like rocks which can’t use energy to grow
and make similar copies of themselves.
Rocks also can’t provide energy to other living
things if they are
eaten and therefore aren’t part of the food chain.
Interestingly, tree bark is actually made of dead
plant cells to shield the inner cells from the
dangers of the
outside world. But the cells inside the bark are
very much alive. The same thing happens with
humans in that skin is made mostly of dead cells.
All living things, including plants and
animals are made of cells. Some things are only
one cell big. You need a microscope to see them.
Other things are made of so many cells that you
could never count them all. Plants are made of
many different types of cells that do different jobs.
New cells come from one cell dividing into 2 new
Things that are made of many cells lose cells
all the time. Plants can lose parts of
themselves, but grow new ones. A bug or cow might
eat a leaf, but a new leaf can grow. Do trees
lose their leaves in fall where you live?
That’s a big loss of cells. The cells left in the
tree can divide to make new leaves.
Each type of plant has things that are good or bad
for it, depending on where it comes from. Plants
need light, water, and nutrients from the air and
soil. Too much water for a desert plant may be not
enough water for a rainforest plant. A temperature
that is too cold for a rainforest plant may be
just right for a plant from Alaska. Plants can
also be hurt by chemicals or by being eaten. If a
lot of the cells die, the plant may not be able to
make new cells. Then the whole plant dies.
Do you think all of the cells in a plant look
the same? Why do you think that?
You may want to study plant biology or cell
biology as you get older.
Thanks for asking,
Cell theory says that cells are the most
basic units of life. All living things –
plants, animals, bacteria, insects, and more –
need cells to live because cells carry out the
functions necessary for that organism. Plants
are multicellular, meaning they are made of many
cells. If plant cells survive, the plant
survives. In order to live and provide proper
function to the plant, plant cells need oxygen,
energy from the sun, minerals/nutrients, and
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