• 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...

Introduction

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.

Middle

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.

Conclusion

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)

    Water is key in condensation reactions where water is removed from molecules to bond them together, this occurs with many sugars and carbohydrates. Water is a transport medium in blood, lymphatic, excretory and digestive systems of animals, and in the vascular systems of plants.

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

    a relative atomic mass of 18; since other molecules of a similar size such as carbon dioxide and ammonia are all gaseous at room temperature whereas water is a liquid. This is due to the hydrogen bonds holding the water molecules in a liquid state.

  1. Water's Chemical Properties.

    odorless, tasteless, transparent liquid that is colorless in small amounts but exhibits a bluish tinge in large quantities. It is the most familiar and abundant liquid on earth. In solid form (ice) and liquid form it covers about 70% of the earth's surface.

  2. 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?

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

    5 Where Cs is the solubility of O2 in water in mg/l and t is the temperature. It is obvious that if more oxygen is dissolved in the water, there will be more of it available for the respiration of fresh water fauna living in the stream.

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

    ---Oxygen solubility in water is low and varies with temperature, the lower the temperature the more oxygen dissolves. But the temperature in the environment is always fluctuating so the readings taken by the oxygen meter for oxygen may not be reliable.

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