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What is sap, its types and functions

Everything you need to know about sap, the vital substance for plant growth and development, you will find in this short but interesting article. Here you will find a clear definition of what sap is, what types of sap exist, where raw and processed sap is formed, what functions it performs, and how it is transported throughout the entire plant.

And it is that in AgroCorrn we do not want to take anything for granted or known. Our philosophy is to bring everyone, young and old, closer to the fascinating natural world that surrounds us and, sometimes, the best way to understand the miracle of life is to start with the basics. Do you want to know a little more about the sap of plants and trees? So, go ahead and read this summary about what sap is, its types and functions .

You may also be interested in: What is phloem and its function
  1. What is the sap and what the form
  2. Types of sap
  3. Sap functions
  4. How the sap rises to the treetops

What is the sap and what the form

Sap is known as the liquid substance that is transferred through the conductive tissue of plants, one of the various types of plant tissues that exist. Plants are able to create their own food source thanks to the creation of sap. But what forms the sap? The sap of a plant contains a large amount of mineral salts, amino acids and hormones . However, this liquid substance is composed mainly of water , specifically 98%, although this can vary according to the species.

The sap found in plants is of two types: raw sap and processed sap. The raw sap is characterized by being formed in the root and is transported thanks to the xylem to the rest of the parts of the plant. After going through the photosynthesis process, this becomes elaborated sap and is transported by the phloem just in the opposite direction, from the leaves to the roots.

It is important to know, to improve the growth of our plants, that the sap production of the vast majority of species coincides with times with higher temperatures. For this reason, most of the prunings that are carried out are done during the winter, to avoid the loss of this vital substance for the life of the plant.

Types of sap

The sap is transported by the conducting tissues of plants: the xylem and phloem. Each of them is in charge of transporting the two existing types of sap :

  • Raw sap: it is the liquid substance created after the absorption of the roots of water and mineral salts. This is transported from the roots to the leaves by the woody vessels.
  • Processed sap: it is the result of the transformation of the raw sap after the photosynthesis process. This is transported in the opposite direction, thanks to the phloem, carrying the food through the conductive vessels from the leaves and the stem until it reaches the root through the vessels. The processed sap is the true food of the plant, since it contains not only water and mineral salts, but also sugars and phytoregulators.

Sap functions

These are the main functions of sap :

  • The main function of the sap is to nourish the plant for its proper development and functioning. Here you can learn a lot about plant nutrition .
  • The sap is responsible for the transport of microelements and macroelements to the leaves so that photosynthesis can take place and thus carry food to all parts of the plant.
  • This substance, after being converted into processed sap, not only serves as food for the plant itself, but is also a source of food for animals and even for humans. In fact, there are some types of sap produced by different species of plants that are also used for their medicinal properties. For example, birch sap is quite well known for this.
  • Thanks to the sap, the plant can improve its own thermal regulation through its transpiration through the leaves and the stem of the plant.

How the sap rises to the treetops

The way in which the sap of a tree reaches the crown , being transported against gravity, is achieved thanks to the xylem . Through this conduit, the water and mineral salts captured by the root system of the tree from the earth itself are transported to finally reach all parts of the plant, including the tree canopy.

Those responsible for the transport of sap are the xylem and phloem . The raw sap that passes through the xylem makes a long journey up to all points of the xylem to offer the necessary nutrients to the leaves, which are responsible for carrying out most of the photosynthesis and thus converting it into processed sap, is that very rich in carbohydrates. This is transported by the phloem, the other conduit in charge of making sure to transport nutrients. Finally, this elaborated sap will make the opposite route to carry the food to the rest of the plant. From the root, through the trunk, the branches and leaves that cover the crown.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is sap, its types and functions , we recommend that you enter our Biology category .

Hello, I am a blogger specialized in environmental, health and scientific dissemination issues in general. The best way to define myself as a blogger is by reading my texts, so I encourage you to do so. Above all, if you are interested in staying up to date and reflecting on these issues, both on a practical and informative level.

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