From Fluid Mechanics, Fourth Edition

4 Introduction to the Fluid Mechanics of Plants

Plant life comprises 99% of the earth's biomass (Bidwell (1974), Rand (1983)).

The basic unit of a plant is a plant cell. Plant cells are formed at meristems, and then develop into cell types which are grouped into tissues. Plants have three tissue types: 1) Dermal; 2) Ground; and 3) Vascular. Dermal tissue covers the outer surface and is composed of closely packed epidermal cells that secrete a waxy material that aids in the prevention of water loss. The ground tissue comprises the bulk of the primary plant body. Parenchyma, collenchyma, and sclerenchyma cells are common in the ground tissue. Vascular tissue transports food, water, hormones and minerals within the plant.

Basically, a plant has two organ systems: 1) the shoot system, and 2) the root system. The shoot system is above ground and includes the organs such as leaves, buds, stems, flowers and fruits. The root system includes those parts of the plant below ground, such as the roots, tubers, and rhizomes. There is transport between the roots and the shoots (see Fig. (17.24)).


Figure 17.24: Overview of plant fluid mechanics. (Reproduced with permission from Annual Review of Fluid Mechanics, Vol. 15 1983 Annual Reviews www.AnnualReviews.org.)

Transport in plants occurs on three levels: (1). The uptake and loss of water and solutes by individual cells, (2). Short-distance transport of substances from cell to cell at the level of tissues or organs, and, (3). Long-distance transport of sap within...


Products & Services
Biological Materials
Biological materials are biocompatible materials, natural or man-made, that comprise a whole or a part of a living structure or biomedical device that performs, augments, or replaces a natural function
Research and Commercial Greenhouses
Commercial and research greenhouses are enclosures dedicated to the botanical needs of plants. Commerical greenhouses produce plants for consumers, while research growth chambers are oriented towards plant science and pharmaceutical harvests.
Plant Growth Chambers
Plant Growth Chambers are specifically designed to produce environmental conditions to maximize plant growth.
Agricultural and Farming Products and Equipment

Agricultural farming products and equipment concerns the vast array machinery, tools, and vehicles employed in horticultural and animal husbandry industries.

Pharmaceutical and Medical Gases
Pharmaceutical and medical gases are pure fluids which are used to synthesize, sterilize, or insulate processes or products which contribute to human health. They are also administered to patients as therapy.

Topics of Interest

Exercises Consider steady laminar flow of a Newtonian fluid in a long, cylindrical, elastic tube of length L. The radius of the tube at any cross section is a=a(x). Poiseuille's formula for the flow...

19.1 INTRODUCTION Tissue culture is the culture and maintenance of plant cells or organs in sterile, nutritionally and environmentally supportive conditions ( in vitro). It has applications in...

Literature Cited Baish J. W. P. S. Ayyaswamy and K.R. Foster (1986a). "Small scale temperature fluctuations in perfused tissue during local hyperthermia." J. BioMech. Eng. 108: 246-250. Baish, J. W.

In contrast, products derived from human cells, such as a naturally secreted extracellular matrix (ECM), offer an alternative to living cells in a final product. This article describes a human...

Studies of metal-absorbing plants by scientists and a colleague have yielded an easier way to actually see where specific genes are expressed in plants. The breakthrough—a new technique using the...

Product Announcements
AGC Chemicals Americas, Inc.
Linde North America, Inc.
Precision Polymer Engineering Ltd.