Do Plants breath ?

By | January 1, 2022
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Breathing can be described as ” Taking in Oxygen and expelling out CO2 through lungs”. This is also called as external respiration“.

What is the difference between breathing and respiration?

Both breathing and respiration are vital for living organisms to survive. Even though there is a significant difference between breathing and respiration but are mostly confused and these two terms are often used interchangeably in our everyday life.

The main reasons for this confusion or misconception is the use of universal term “respiration” for both the activities.

Things which add to more confusion is that for both processes of breathing and respiration, the organs involved are lungs, nose and both involve oxygen.

So it becomes very important to understand the scientific difference between these two process at scientific level.

Basis for comparison Breathing Respiration
Kind of processBiophysicalBiochemical
DefinitionIt is a process which involves inhaling and exhaling gases through lungs.It is a process which involves breakdown of organic molecules to yield energy. It is also called cellular respiration.
StepsInhalation and exhalation – 2 stepsGlycolysis, Krebs Cycle and Oxidative phosphorylation – 3 steps.
OccurrenceLungs and outside of cellCytoplasm and Mitochondria of the cell – Intracellular.
Occurs in In all vertebrates and some arthropodsIn all living forms.
Enzymes and EnergyNo enzymes are involved and yields no energy.Involves many enzymes and yields energy.
PurposeProvides oxygen to different parts of the body.Provides energy in the form of ATP for all functions of cells.

Breathing in Plants ?

The answer to this question is not so straight forward. But the simple answer is yes. They require or take in oxygen for the process of cellular respiration and release CO2. However, in contrast to animals, they dont have specialized organs for exchange of gases. Plants rely on stomata and lenticles for this process.

The lack of specialized organs for gaseous exchange in plants can be explained based on the facts that in plants there is no great transport of gases from one part to another and also plants don’t have a great demand of gaseous exchange.

Only during the Photosynthesis, a large amount of gases are exchanged (in take of CO2 and release of O2) and to cater this requirement, they have well adapted leaves.

During photosynthesis, the oxygen is released directly into the cell (unused O2 later escapes into atmosphere) which can be used for respiration and hence no special set up is required for transport of oxygen.

Plants emit Carbon Dioxide at Nights

Like all animals, Plants also need to breathe for survival. They require or take in oxygen for the process of Respiration and release CO2 in the atmosphere.

Plants rely on Photosynthesis where in carbon dioxide and water are converted to sugar in the presence sunlight. This also leads into release of oxygen as a byproduct into atmosphere.

In the process of respiration, sugars are utilized to give energy in presence of oxygen. In respiration CO2 is released as byproduct.

As photosynthesis can occur only in the presence of light, However respiration occurs both in day in and night.

During daytime both photosynthesis and respiration occurs simultaneously, the amount of oxygens released in much higher than release of CO2 as byproduct of respiration.

During nights, only respiration will occur ( as sunlight wont be available ) and hence only CO2 is released in atmosphere. Hence it is advised not to sleep underneath of trees of keep plants in bedroom at nights.

Image Credit: PixabayEngin_Akyurt