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

The Role of Water in Living Organisms

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Role of Water in Living Organisms Water is one of the most abundant substances on the planet. It can be found naturally in all three states; solid (ice), liquid (water), and gas (steam). However, chemically it is very unusual. For example, water molecules are slightly polar i.e. they have a positive and negative end. Due to this difference in electro-negativity the slightly positive charge on the hydrogen atom is attracted to the slightly negative charge on the oxygen atom in another molecule. This bond is called a hydrogen bond and is what causes the water to have its unusual properties. For example, other molecules of the same size of water (H2O) are all gases at room temperature and pressure (R.T.P). Without the hydrogen bonds, water too would be a gas at RTP and would have a boiling point of -120�C. ...read more.

Middle

This would not be possible if the water molecule was non-polar. As I have said, water is the most abundant molecule on the planet, but is also the most abundant molecule organisms. The lowest percentage composition is 20% in seeds, with the highest being 99% in jelly fish. Water plays a vital role in metabolism in all cells and photosynthesis in plants. All cells, whether plant of animal, water is used for hydrolysis (the breakdown of a substance by water). For example, the break down of polysaccharides to monosaccharides forming a glycosidic bond, which is used as a medium for chemical reactions. Water also has an important role to play in osmosis as for gaseous exchange to take place, a moist environment is needed. On a much larger scale it is used for transport. ...read more.

Conclusion

There are many reasons for such diversity of life. The water around living cells can act as a protective shield, preventing cells from drying out, as they would on land; it provides support and buoyancy so hard tissue and bones are not required in such large amounts; the temperature remains constant due to is high specific heat capacity and finally water filters out harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun. Water's role in life of any organism is due to its physical and chemical properties. They strange properties of water allow it to act as an excellent solvent, to provide an excellent support mechanism, due to the cohesive forces of attraction between the molecules being so strong and unlike any other liquids that it is virtually incomprehensible. Waters role in the life of any organism is of the up most importance. Without it life would simply not exist. Life began it water, and although some life evolved to live on land, it still relies entirely on the fantastic substance that is water. ...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 arguably the most important biochemical of all. Water is essential to life itself, without water life on earth would not exist. Water is a major component of cells, typically forming between 70 and 95% of the mass of the cell. This means that we are made from approximately 60% water by mass.

  2. The Waste Land by Eliot emphasises the themes of dystopia and apocalypse.

    Water is again mentioned in this section in reference to the Hindu word for control, Damyata: Damyata: The boat responded Gaily, to the hand expert with sail and oar The sea was calm, your heart would have responded Gaily, when invited, beating obedient To controlling hands (418-422)

  1. The Importance Of Water To Living Organisms

    A more obvious property of water is its transparency. This feature of water is very important biologically. Were water opaque very few organisms could live in it, because the absence of light would prevent primary producers from photosynthesising. As light penetrates water, aquatic photosynthetic plants can live at some depth.

  2. Describe the role of Lipids in Living Organisms

    Phospholipids are 'lipids containing a phosphate group and are formed when one of the primary alcohol groups of glycerol (head) forms an ester with phosphoric acid (tail), instead of a fatty acid.' (10). 'The presence of the phosphate group means that the charge on the head of the molecule is unevenly distributed.

  1. Water's Chemical Properties.

    Fluctuations in water temperature occur very gradually, and seasonal and diurnal extremes are small in comparison to terrestrial environments. The high specific heat can have profound effects on climatic conditions of adjacent air masses. When it warms only a few degrees, a large lake can absorb and store a huge

  2. The Importance of Water to Living Organisms

    These include ionic substances such as salt, whose charged particles (ions) disassociate when dissolved in water, and some non-ionic substances such as sugar and simple alcohols that contain polar groups within the molecules such as the hydroxyl groups of the sugars and alcohols.

  1. Is photorespiration an effective mechanism for protecting against photoinhibition?

    favours photorespiration but more quantitative evidence is required. Also the intermediates of the cycle (particularly the amino groups) can be siphoned off into other pathways to create pigments (or perhaps the phenylpropanoids?) which would also aid in photoprotection. Previous studies have involved reducing the [O2] down to below 1-2%, thus inhibiting the oxygenase activity of Rubisco.

  2. The Role Of Water In Living Organisms

    Also human digestion will only dissolve soluble foods, meaning large starch molecules must be broken down into soluble sugars.

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