Flowering plants have a basic structure:
The function of a leaf is photosynthesis. Leaves are the source of all of food on Earth.
Leaves are adapted in several ways to help them perform their function.
|Large surface area||To absorb more light|
|Thin||Short distance for carbon dioxide to diffuse into leaf cells|
|Chlorophyll||Absorbs sunlight to transfer energy into chemicals|
|Network of veins||To support the leaf and transport water and sugars|
|Stomata||Allow carbon dioxide to diffuse into the leaf and oxygen to diffuse out|
The internal structure of the leaf is also adapted to promote efficient photosynthesis:
|Epidermis is thin and transparent||To allow more light to reach the palisade cells|
|Thin cuticle made of wax||To protect the leaf from infection and prevent water loss without blocking out light|
|Palisade cell layer at top of leaf||To absorb more light and increase the rate of photosynthesis|
|Spongy layer||Air spaces allow carbon dioxide to diffuse through the leaf|
|Palisade cells contain many chloroplasts||To absorb all the available light|