I don't know what you mean by "cut plants".
Plants respire when they can't get enough
energy to subsist on via photosynthesis. This
usually happens at night or, for plants that shut
down for part of the year, during the cold/dry
season. If you mean cutting a plant down, the
reason why plants die when cut is because they can
no longer transport water, so they dehydrate to
death;all of the chemistry that allows plants
to live, either when photosynthesizing or when
respiring, takes place in water, so without
water a plant is dead.
Respiration is something living plants and
animals do. Cut plants will usually die, unless
they're plants that can grow roots and have enough
light, water, and soil.
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