This is a really good question and something alot of people usually don"t think about. Theanswer is that all plant cells need oxygen tolive, because without oxygen they can"tperform aerobic respiration (respiration isthe process of breaking down food to get energy).Of course you probably know that when plantsperform photosynthesis, they combine water,carbon dioxide, and the sun"s energy to producesugar and oxygen. So the cells in the green partsof the plant, where photosynthesis is takingplace, get all the oxygen they need from theoxygen produced by photosynthesis. So cells inthe leaves and stems are okay. The trick is thecells down in the roots, where there is nophotosynthesis. In most plants, these cellsget their oxygen from air in the spaces betweendirt particles in the soil (you"d be surprised howmuch empty space there is in the soil --mostly because earthworms arealways moving around, churning up the dirt). Butfor plants that live in soggy environments, that"snot an option, because water holds a lot lessoxygen than air does (we"re talking aboutO2 here, not the oxygen inH20).
So some wetlands plantshave developed a tolerance for low-oxygenconditions, and a lot of them have reallyshallow root systems so they"re as close aspossible to the air. Mangroves are treesthat live in saltwater lagoons, and they haveevolved special roots, calledpneumatophores (Greek for "aircarrier"), that act like snorkels for the roots. But most plants don"t have these specialtolerances and adaptations, which is why you can"drown" your houseplants if you water them toomuch.
You are watching: Can a plant survive without oxygen?
We always hear about how plants use carbondioxide and give off oxygen as waste, and howanimals(like us) use oxygen and give off carbondioxide as waste, and how this is a very importantcycle in nature.
This is all true,but we don"t hearabout as often is that plants need oxygen tosurvive, too.
Plant cells perform cellularrespiration just like animal cells do, and thisprocess requires oxygen. Plants like rice cangrow in wetlands because they have air spacesbetween their cells, and they can moveoxygen-rich air into those air spaces. The reasonwhy farmers grow rice in flooded fields is becausethe rice will survive there, but many weeds willdie from lack of oxygen because they don"t haveair spaces between their cells. If you seal aplant in an airtight terrarium, it will still growbecause it can recycle both the oxygen and thecarbon dioxide that it uses. If you couldmagically remove all oxygen from the terrarium,though, the plant would die.
Plants do need oxygen to survive. Theyrespire (take in oxygen, give off carbon dioxide)the same way that animals do. The difference isthat during the day, plants also performphotosynthesis, in which they take in carbondioxide and give off oxygen.
See more: How Many Calories In 2 Fried Eggs, Fried Nutrition Facts, How Many Calories Are In An Egg
In any given24-hour period, a healthy, growing plant will giveoff a lot more oxygen than it consumes, andconsume a lot more carbon dioxide than it givesoff, so people usually don"t think about plantsneeding oxygen.
Wetland plants need oxygen too. There are alot of *bacteria* in wetlands that can livewithout oxygen, but all of the plants (vascularplants, mosses, even algae) definitely requireoxygen.