- yes, there are holes in plants
- but you can’t see them
- unless your eyes are microscopes
- or unless you put your eyes on a microscope
- the word stomata means mouth in Greek
- and it that makes a lot of sense
- considering stomata are the way plants “communicate” with the rest of the world
- these little holes open and close on the leaf surface
- to allow carbon dioxide to diffuse into the plant
- and to allow oxygen to diffuse out
- every inch of the above ground part of a plant is covered in stomata
- flowers, leaves, herbaceous stems, etc.
- but not tree trunks
- bark is a whole different type of tissue
- the size, shape, and density of stomata is important in determining in what sort of environmental conditions the plant developed
- and what species the plant is
- if a plant sprouts and develops in an environment with low atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and high sunlight
- it will likely have a larger number of stomata per square millimeter
- the size and shape play a large role in indicating the species of the plant
- for example
- grass stomata have guard cells that look like little dumbbells
- guard cells being the cells that surround the opening of a stomate that control the opening and closing of the hole
- then the stomata on trees and shrubs have more kidney bean shaped guard cells
Invisible traits determine by invisible factors. We can’t see the genes within the plant that determine the size and shape of the stomate’s guard cells, nor can we see the stomate itself. This is where the science comes in! We make discoveries about the natural world by using our senses or things that extend our senses past their normal capacities. By using a microscope to examine stomates on a plant of an unknown species, you are using your eyes to classify the organism, but you are using the magnifying powers of the microscope to help you. We make superhuman discoveries with the help of man made inventions.
So does that make us superhuman?
“Stomata.” Stomata. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Mar. 2016. <http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/156262/>.