Leaf Structure

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1. Describe the adaptations of the lower epidermis of the leaf to carry out photosynthesis.

2. What are the two kinds of cell in the lower epidermis, and what are their functions?

Feb 14th, 2015

Leaves have many structures that prevent water loss, transport compounds, aid in gas exchange, and protect the plant as a whole.


  • Describe the internal structure and function of a leaf


  • The epidermis consists of the upper and lower epidermis; it aids in the regulation of gas exchange via stomata.

  • The epidermis is one layer thick, but may have more layers to prevent transpiration.

  • The cuticle is located outside the epidermis and protects against water loss; trichomes discourage predation.

  • The mesophyll is found between the upper and lower epidermis; it aids in gas exchange and photosynthesis via chloroplasts.

  • The xylem transports water and minerals to the leaves; the phloem transports the photosynthetic products to the other parts of the plant.

  • Plants in cold climates have needle-like leaves that are reduced in size; plants in hot climates have succulent leaves that help to conserve water.


  • mesophyll

    parenchyma (ground tissue) that comprises most of the interior of the leaf between the upper and lower layers of epidermis

  • cuticle

    a noncellular protective covering outside the epidermis of many invertebrates and plants

  • trichome

    a hair- or scale-like extension of the epidermis of a plant

Feb 14th, 2015

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Feb 14th, 2015
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