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The role of water in the lives of organisms

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Introduction

The role of water in the lives of organisms Water is perhaps the most important molecule for the survival and life of all living organisms because there is a wide spectrum of roles that it plays. The fact that the earth's surface consists of 70.8% water shows its significance and importance. Firstly, water has the chemical formula H(0 (two Hydrogen atoms to one Oxygen atom), the covalent bonds between which create cohesive forces. Water has a very high specific heat capacity, measuring 4,200 Joules, creating a stable environment for organisms to live in. This means that water does not heat up or cool down too rapidly due to the difficulty in breaking the hydrogen bonds, which restricts the movement of the water molecules. This property of water is beneficial to aquatic organisms (e.g. Fish, Jellyfish), as they do not have to keep adapting their own body temperatures for survival. Another property water has is its insulating nature in lakes and rivers. ...read more.

Middle

In humans, water is within the blood substance and because water molecules slide past each other easily blood can be easily transported through narrow capillaries. A vital role because if this were not the case, blood would not be able to transport bodily pigments (e.g. hormones, white blood cells, red blood cells, proteins etc) around the body as efficiently risking vast numbers of health problems. Water also allows waste materials such as urea and urine to be dissolved, transported and excreted, preventing them becoming toxic and harming the organism that has produced them during metabolic activities. A role in the transport of gametes in animals (e.g. sperm in semen) is aided by water, therefore important in fertilisation and the continuance of that specific species. In plants, water and mineral ions are transported through xylem vessels to replace water, lost from leaves in transpiration, and minerals necessary for growth. These properties aid transport and provide support of cells and the stem. Dissolved nutrients that plants need to live are transported in phloem vessels. ...read more.

Conclusion

The help provided by water in relation to nutrition is vital to organisms' lives. The process called homeostasis, which means keeping the organisms' internal environment working well, can be improved with waters' coolant functions. For example, when humans release water as sweat, the liquid gets turned into a vapour causing humans to cool down and control our body temperature (a homeostasis process). The cooling functions of water are connected to its high heat capacity nature. Water has influences on a large number of aspects of organisms' lives'. From habitat, transport, support, movement, fertilisation, insulator, roles of key processes (photosynthesis and respiration), protection from damage, homeostasis and gas exchange. Enzymes are very important in the body of some / most organisms and catalyse almost every reaction. However, they are soluble and will need water to function, as a result water is very important. Water is an important substrate for chemical reactions as well as product. Around 70% of human mass consists of water, in plants, 95% of mass consists of water. Matthew Austin Biology 1 1 ...read more.

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