11.1.1 Diffusion

Movement by diffusion is passive, and may be from one part of the cell to the other, or from cell to cell, or over short distances, say, from the intercellular spaces of the leaf to the outside.

No energy expenditure takes place. In diffusion, molecules move in a random fashion, the net result being substances moving from regions of higher concentration to regions of lower concentration.

Diffusion is a slow process and is not dependent on a ‘living system’. Diffusion is obvious in gases and liquids, but diffusion in solids rather than of solids is more likely. Diffusion is very important to plants since it the only means for gaseous movement within the plant body.

Diffusion rates are affected by the gradient of concentration, the permeability of the membrane separating them, temperature and pressure.

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