Comparison between Active absorption and Passive absorption of water in plants

Major differences between Active absorption and Passive absorption of water in plants

Active absorption of water
Passive absorption of water
It occurs due to the activity of root and root hairs.
It occurs mainly due to the activity of upper part of the plant such as shoot and leaves.
Water is absorbed by the osmotic or non-osmotic processes along or against DPD gradient.
Water is absorbed as a result of tension created by transpiration pull.
It involves symplast (via. Protoplasm) movement of water.
It involves apoplast movement of water. i.e., through cell walls and intercellular spaces.
It utilizes metabolic energy.
It utilizes solar energy for transpiration.
Root cells play an active role.
Root cells play a passive role.
It is independent of transpiration.
It takes place when transpiration is fast.
It creates a positive pressure in the xylem channels.
It produces a negative pressure in xylem channels.


  1. Respected Sir/Mam,

    I am preparing an article for publication and for that I need a figure of plant root which shows the pathway (symplast and apoplast) of water that is already given on your website. Hence, I request you to kindly allow me to reuse the same figure. Proper acknowledgement will be given to your website.


    Sanjay Singh, PhD
    Department of Plant Sciences
    University of Gondar

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