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The absorption of water by plants is essential for various metabolic activities. Land plants get their water supply from soil which serves as the source of water and .
The way in which water from soil enters roots, particularly to the root xylem, is called “mechanism of water absorption”. Both active and passive absorption have been proposed for mechanism of water absorption. Active absorption refers to the absorption of water by roots with the help of ATP, generated by the root respiration: as the root cells actively take part in the process, it is called active absorption.
In this process energy is required. According to this theory, the root cells behave as an ideal osmotic pressure system through which water moves up from the soil solution to the root xylem along an increasing gradient of D.
If solute concentration is high and water potential is low in the root cells, water can enter from soil to root cells through endosmosis. A concentration gradient is established between the root and the soil water. Hence, the solute potential of xylem water is more in comparison to that of soil and correspondingly water potential is low than the soil water.
If stated, water potential is comparatively positive in the soil water. This gradient of water potential causes endosmosis. The endosmosis of water continues till the water potential both in the root and soil becomes equal.