Sorption and Transport of Gases and Vapors in Plant Cuticles

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Life arose in water and many plants, notably the algae, are still largely restricted to the aquatic environment. The evolutionary move from an aquatic to a terrestrial existence demanded several structural innovations, for the terrestrial environment was/is in many ways hostile to life. Among the many problems faced by a land plant is the changed water potential gradient between the plant body and the surroundings. It was necessary to build up an effective barrier to prevent excessive loss of water by evaporation. On the other hand it was essential to maintain a sufficiently permeable surface for gas exchange.