Updated: Jun 21
What is a stoma?
Stoma, or stomata (plural) are the pores on the leaves, or stem of a plant and are very small and cannot be seen with the naked eye. When seen in a microscopic image, the stomata look like tiny mouths. Playing an essential role in the plants health and overall development, these tiny organs are essentially in charge of the plant breathing, carbon dioxide goes in and oxygen and water come out.
Guard Cells And Their Role
Guard cells play a very important role for photosynthesis being so involved with light, moisture and CO2. Guard cells control when stomata open and close, working to regulate excessive water loss, closing of the cells on hot, dry or windy days. There are many triggers for this but the main reason is to follow the light cycles of the day, opening at dawn and closing as daylight fades. Other triggers include humidity and excess amounts of CO2. The guard cells can absorb water and in doing so it will swell the guard cells, changing their size and opening more, a lack of water can also cause the cells to close. It is important for the overall health of the plant that there is not too much or too little water.
Where Are Stomata Located On A Plant?
You can find stoma (stomata) on the undersides of the leaves. The reason for the location of the stoma is to help reduce the light exposure and heat, being able to hold more water in the guard cells.
The Significance Of Stomata
The stomata are responsible for many functions, all of which contribute to the overall health of the plant. The main role of stomata is to help in the exchange of gas in helping photosynthesis occur. Photosynthesis is the process in which plants use sunlight to synthesize foods for the plant from carbon dioxide and water, producing oxygen a byproduct.