Free Response

Describe the roles played by stomata and guard cells. What would happen to a plant if these cells did not function correctly?


Stomata allow gases to enter and exit the plant. Guard cells regulate the opening and closing of stomata. If these cells did not function correctly, a plant could not get the carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis, nor could it release the oxygen produced by photosynthesis.

Compare the structure and function of xylem to that of phloem.


Xylem is made up tracheids and vessel elements, which are cells that transport water and dissolved minerals and that are dead at maturity. Phloem is made up of sieve-tube cells and companion cells, which transport carbohydrates and are alive at maturity.

Explain the role of the cork cambium in woody plants.


In woody plants, the cork cambium is the outermost lateral meristem; it produces new cells towards the interior, which enables the plant to increase in girth. The cork cambium also produces cork cells towards the exterior, which protect the plant from physical damage while reducing water loss.

What is the function of lenticels?


In woody stems, lenticels allow internal cells to exchange gases with the outside atmosphere.

Besides the age of a tree, what additional information can annual rings reveal?


Annual rings can also indicate the climate conditions that prevailed during each growing season.

Give two examples of modified stems and explain how each example benefits the plant.


Answers will vary. Rhizomes, stolons, and runners can give rise to new plants. Corms, tubers, and bulbs can also produce new plants and can store food. Tendrils help a plant to climb, while thorns discourage herbivores.