Oxygen is essential for life. Without it, living beings cannot live. However, there are some organisms which have evolved a way of surviving without oxygen altogether. These organisms include certain types of bacteria and cyanobacteria (blue-green algae). Some other animals such as insects and worms do not require any oxygen at all!
So how does one go about finding out whether or not these creatures exist? How can you tell if they’re real?
There are many ways, but the most reliable method is to look for them.
The first thing you need to do is determine if your plant needs oxygen. If your plants don’t breathe air, then they probably don’t need oxygen either! You’ll want to check with a professional before making any conclusions though!
If your plants do breathe air, then you’ll want to make sure that their atmosphere contains enough oxygen. One good place to start would be checking the soil. Check the soil’s pH level. A neutral pH level means that there isn’t much oxygen available to microbes in the soil.
On the other hand, a high acidity level will result in a shortage of oxygen for microorganisms, and therefore no plants breathing air!
Another way to test your plants’ atmospheric oxygen content is by using a simple device called an O2 Analyzer. There are many types of these devices, so you’ll want to choose one that’s right for your plants!
Another way to go about testing the oxygen level in your atmosphere is by using a Cheap Oxygen Bar. These devices are rather cheap and easy to get a hold of, so you should be able to afford one easily!
As explained above, soil with a high amount of acidity will lead to a shortage of oxygen for microbes and plants, so if you want your plants to be able to breathe air, then you’ll want to neutralize the acidity in their soil!
TIP: A good way to check whether or not your soil has the right amount of acidity is by using an EpiSensor.
It’s important to keep in mind that these devices aren’t perfect, and that your plants may still need more oxygen than these devices are able to detect!
Now that you know how to test the amount of oxygen in your atmosphere, let’s move on to learning about how plants breathe!
How Do Plants Breathe?
In this section, you’ll learn about how plants breathe in general. We’ll start off by discussing the difference between aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration. After that, we’ll look at why plants need to breathe at all!
Aerobic respiration and anaerobic respiration are the two main types of cellular respiration. In aerobic respiration, oxygen is used. In anaerobic respiration, another substance is used instead.
Have you ever have been so tired that you felt like you couldn’t breathe?
Maybe you were running, or maybe you were just breathing really hard during a particularly engaging conversation with a friend. During these moments, your body is using anaerobic respiration. Your body hasn’t run out of oxygen, but it’s not getting enough of it for your cells to function optimally. As a result, your body produces more energy anaerobically.
This brings us to our next topic: Why do plants need to breathe?
As you know, plants are capable of photosynthesis. This process is vital for plants because it allows them to convert light into energy! When you think about it, this is an incredibly complex process.
How do plants convert light into energy?
Well, it all starts with chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that helps plants absorb energy from the sun. Chlorophyll also gives plants their distinct green color.
Once plants absorb energy from the sun and convert it into chemical energy, they use this energy to produce sugars through a process called photophosphorylation. This process requires a lot of energy, so plants need to get that energy from somewhere.
As we just learned, plants use anaerobic respiration when their roots are unable to get the oxygen they need to perform photophosphorylation properly. In other words, because they don’t have access to enough oxygen, they need to use another way to produce the energy they need to survive. This is why it’s so important for plants to be able to breathe!
Another reason why plants need to be able to breathe is because they produce waste just like every other living thing, and this waste needs to be eliminated from their system. Things like carbon dioxide and water are examples of waste that plants produce during respiration.
This is why it’s so important for plants to be able to take in oxygen and eliminate carbon dioxide! If plants didn’t have these capabilities, then their cells would become overwhelmed with toxic waste and the plant would die. You can thank plants for producing oxygen so that you can live!
Now that we’ve learned about the importance of oxygen for plants, let’s learn how to make sure your plants get enough of it!
How Do You Help Your Plant Breathe?
We’ve already learned about the important role that adequate amounts of oxygen play in the survival of your plants. Thanks to recent scientific advances, most nurseries now grow their plants in aeroponic systems.
What is an aeroponic system?
Aeroponic systems are a special type of hydroponics system that rely on oxygen guns or bubblers to gently spray water and oxygen mists directly on the roots of the plant. This doesn’t expose the roots to too much oxygen, which could be damaging, but it gives them enough to perform photophosphorylation! It also doesn’t drown the roots like a hydroponic system might because it doesn’t use any form of growing medium like dirt.
Let’s take a look at how an aeroponic system works!
The above picture shows what an aeroponic system looks like. As you can see, it has everything that a normal hydroponic system has except there isn’t any growing medium. There is also an oxygen gun attached above the top of the system.
As you can tell, the oxygen gun just shoots a stream of oxygenated water directly on to the roots of the plant. The gentle mist helps the roots of the plant breathe just like they would in nature! Without an aeroponic system, plants wouldn’t be able to survive and would eventually die.
Plants also wouldn’t be able to survive if they didn’t have access to sunlight. The amount of light that reaches the Earth from the sun is enough to sustain plant life, but plants don’t just use the light itself, they make food with it. This process is called photosynthesis.
What is photosynthesis?
Photosynthesis is a process that allows plants to make their own food. It occurs when plants absorb light from the sun and use it together with carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose. Glucose provides the energy that a plant needs to live.
Let’s take a look at the steps involved in photosynthesis:
As you can see, plants absorb light energy (a form of electromagnetic radiation) from the sun and use it together with carbon dioxide and water to produce glucose. This glucose provides the energy that a plant needs to live.
Did you know that you can actually make your own solar cells at home?
It’s easy and you probably have most of the stuff you need already. Take a look:
As you can see, this is a list of everything that you need in order to make your own solar cell. The only thing that you may not have is the solar panel, which you can find online or at your local hardware store.
Did you know that you can actually place plants in front of a solar panel to help them make more glucose?
It’s easy and will allow your plants to grow bigger and stronger than they normally would.
Plus, who knows what other organisms live off of the glucose that the plant makes?
Let’s take a look at how you can build a garden with a solar panel:
As you can see, this is a diagram of a garden that has been placed in front of a solar panel. The light that the solar panel absorbs is used to make glucose for the plants. The only thing that the plants don’t have to worry about getting is carbon dioxide, which is taken care of by the water bubbler.
Sources & references used in this article:
Tansley Review No. 52. The role of active oxygen in the response of plants to water deficit and desiccation by N Smirnoff – New phytologist, 1993 – JSTOR
Role of active oxygen species and NO in plant defence responses by GP Bolwell – Current opinion in plant biology, 1999 – arquivo.ufv.br
Signal interactions between nitric oxide and reactive oxygen intermediates in the plant hypersensitive disease resistance response by M Delledonne, J Zeier, A Marocco… – Proceedings of the …, 2001 – National Acad Sciences
Active oxygen in plant pathogenesis by CJ Baker, EW Orlandi – Annual review of phytopathology, 1995 – annualreviews.org
Reactive oxygen intermediates mediate a systemic signal network in the establishment of plant immunity by ME Alvarez, RI Pennell, PJ Meijer, A Ishikawa… – Cell, 1998 – Elsevier
Oxygen and environmental stress in plants-an overview by GAF Hendry, RMM Crawford – Proceedings of the Royal Society of …, 1994 – cambridge.org
Reactive oxygen species and nitric oxide in plant mitochondria: origin and redundant regulatory systems by O Blokhina, KV Fagerstedt – Physiologia Plantarum, 2010 – Wiley Online Library
Roles of reactive oxygen species in interactions between plants and pathogens by NP Shetty, HJL Jørgensen, JD Jensen… – … Journal of Plant …, 2008 – Springer
Redox sensing and signalling associated with reactive oxygen in chloroplasts, peroxisomes and mitochondria by CH Foyer, G Noctor – Physiologia plantarum, 2003 – Wiley Online Library