• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Describe the properties of water and it's significance to living processes.

Extracts from this document...


Describe the properties of water and it's significance to living processes. Water typically forms 70 to 95% of the mass of a eukaryotic cell. Although it is a simple molecule, water has the ideal properties to support life. A water molecule consists of one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms. Each hydrogen atom shares electrons with the oxygen to form covalent bonds, but the electrons are not shared equally. Oxygen has greater electronegativity so has a greater pull on the electron causing the electrons to move away slightly from the hydrogen atoms. Therefore the water molecule has slightly positive and slightly negative regions, which makes it a dipolar molecule The small charges on water molecules cause attraction between them. These forces of attraction are called hydrogen bonding, which gives water its unique properties. The hydrogen bonding makes water molecules difficult to separate. ...read more.


Water is unusual because the solid form, ice, is less dense than it's liquid form. Below 4�C the density of water starts to decrease. This is beneficial for aquatic life since ice will form at the water surface, insulating the water below and allowing life to survive. Water is a liquid at room temperature and so provides a liquid environment inside cells and aquatic environments for organisms to live in. Water also forms a skin at its surface because it has a high surface tension called cohesion. This is beneficial for certain aquatic animals, such as pond skaters, which can move around on the surface of water. It also aids capillarity, which is the way in which water moves through xylem in plants. Water has a low viscosity so water molecules can flow and slide easily over each other and through narrow vessels in both animals and plants. ...read more.


However, it is very difficult to compress which can be beneficial to certain organisms. Water is an important structural agent, acting as a 'skeleton' in worms and turgid plants. It provides strength and support as well as helping to form the shape. Including photosynthesis, water also takes part in many chemical reactions. It is a raw material for photosynthesis and it also takes part in the digestion of substances such as proteins and lipids by hydrolysis reactions. Most organic substances in cells appear in their hydrated form. If the water was to be removed, their chemical and physical properties would be affected. Water is essential to life for many reasons, some of which have been discussed. Sometimes, however, there is an advantage to living tissue to become dehydrated. Dehydration in reproductive structures such as pollen and seeds ensures that they can survive periods of water scarcity. Overall water plays a very significant role in life processes in most organisms. Zaki Rafiq-Khatana ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Green Plants as Organisms section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Green Plants as Organisms essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The roles water in living organisms and water as a habitat for organisms

    5 star(s)

    The fact that water is most dense at 40c means a layer of water at this temperature will always sink to the bottom, ensuring a life-supporting band is maintained at the bottom of even the most heavily frozen lake. Water as a transport medium: - Water is the medium for many reactions, especially those, which occur in cells.

  2. The effects of organic effluent from the seweage on the biodiversty in a freshwater ...

    The high levels of turbidity can be due to run off of soil and leeching of the bricks. The turbidity reduces the amount of light that penetrates into the water, reducing the light available for algae and aquatic weeds to use in photosynthesis.

  1. How temperature affects the rate of photosynthesis.

    The average rate of oxygen production for individual and class results increases from 0 oC to 45 oC and from 45 oC to 65 oC. Some of the values like at 0 oC are very similar to each other whereas other values at 15 oC and 65 oC are different but do not show a large variation.

  2. Investigation into the relationship between the density of fresh water shrimps in fleet brook ...

    Gammarus feed on these. Therefore if more plankton are in the stream due to the nitrate and phosphates, the number of gammarus will increase also. The problem with nitrate and phosphates is that when excessive amounts are present (often due to soil leaching, effluent produced by farms, and human effluent)

  1. Metabolic Processes - Photosynthesis.

    alcohol is produced in fermentation e. sewage breaks down in a septic tank ____ 7. In an investigation of the pigments in the leaves of a particular plant, one spot moved 8.0 cm from the origin, while the solvent front moved 10.0 cm. What would the Rf value of the pigment be?

  2. Explain The Significance To Organisms of Water As a Transport Medium and Habitat, In ...

    clusters around the positive sodium ions, while the positive hydrogen atoms cluster around the negative chloride ions. The attraction between the Sodium and Chloride is weakened as the ions are separated. Water's properties as a solvent are vital to life as most biochemical reactions such as respiration occur in solution.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work