Air Pockets in Mesophyll

“How does air spaces in the mesophyll be useful in photosynthesis? ~Lil”


Leaf epidermis is perforated by stomata for gas exchange between the photosynthetic mesophyll (parenchyma) and the surrounding atmosphere. Thus leaves function in part like lungs. Dicot leaves are much like fern leaves in general structure. The upper and lower epidermis are covered with a waxy cuticle to prevent water loss. The mesophyll consists of a palisade layer of tall cells just under the upper epidermis, and chains of spongy mesophyll cells with air spaces between them in the lower part of the leaf. The tall palisade cells are packed with chloroplasts and are the site of most of the photosynthesis in the leaf; they are located in the upper part of the leaf where sunlight penetrates most fully. Spongy mesophyll contains air for gas exchange with cells of the leaf. Carbon dioxide from air is the source of carbon for synthesis of carbohydrates, and oxygen gas is a waste product of photosynthesis.




© Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk!, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mertie Mae Botanics LLC and Horticulture Talk! with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


One thought on “Air Pockets in Mesophyll

  1. Well I would say if it was in a water plant, that the air spaces are used to keep the plant above the water, as there is more light there for Photosynthesis. Also because stomata is at the top of the leaves, carbon dioxide and oxygen can then be exchanged easier, thus higher rates of Photosynthesis.

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