Transportation in Animals and Plants

Plants and animals, both being living things, have an arrangement of physical structures that moves various substances all across their body. Such arrangement mainly acts as a transport system facilitating the movement of water, minerals, nutrients etc. that are crucial for the survival of that organism. 

Read on to know More About the Transport of Substances in Plants and Animals. 

Transportation in Plants 

Plants have primarily two types of tissues that help transport water, minerals and nutrients. Those tissues are – xylem and phloem. 

  1. Xylem 

Xylem is responsible for transportation of water and mineral salts from the roots to different parts of a plant. 

These tissues are made up of elongated dead cells and arranged as continuous vessels. Xylems are impermeable to water. 

  1. Phloem 

Phloem moves amino acids and sucrose between leaves and different parts of a plant. 

These tissues are comprised of living cells which are arranged from one end to another end. It transports amino acids and sucrose up and down the plant. Phloems are different from xylems in this aspect. 

Did You Know?

It is the stems that are responsible for transportation of water and nutrients in plants through xylem and phloem respectively. However, in one instance, there is a requirement of energy for movement and redundant in another instance.

The movement of water is unidirectional and takes place by way of adhesion and cohesion. This transportation is passive, that is, not requiring any energy whatsoever. On the other hand, the movement of nutrients from leaves to different parts of the plant requires energy. 

Transportation in Animals 

Transportation in animals is the movement of food, water and oxygen to different parts of the body. Such a system is comprised of circulatory system and excretory system.

  1. Circulatory System 

The main parts of the circulatory system are – blood, blood vessels and heart. Blood is pumped through two types of blood vessels, namely arteries and veins. 

Arteries carry oxygenated blood from the heart to different parts of the body. Veins carry carbon dioxide infused blood from different organs of the body to its heart. 

  1. Excretory System 

The Excretory system helps to eliminate the wastes generated in an animal body. The different parts of this system are – kidneys, urinary bladder, ureters and urethra. 

Difference Between Transportation in Plants and Animals 





Xylem and phloem are specialised tubes. These do not form a circulatory system.

Specialised tubes are arteries, veins and capillaries. These tubes form a closed circulatory system.


Living cells make up all parts of the transport network.

Living cells do not make up all parts of the transport network.

Substance transported 

Substances transported are water, minerals, sugars and amino acids.

Substances transported are glucose, glycerol, minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, amino acids and hormones.

Transport mechanism 

Water enters xylem to reach to the leaves and further diffused out through the process of transpiration. Movement of water is unidirectional.

Nutrients travel through phloem in different parts of the plant, and it can move both up and down.

Pumping of blood through a series of tubes makes up for the circulatory system. It is energy-intensive.

Control of transportation  

Stomatal closure and opening control the rate of transpiration.

Flow of blood to vessels is controlled by constriction and vasodilation.

Energy consumption 

Adenosine triphosphate energy is only needed for transportation of substances in phloem.

Adenosine triphosphate energy is required for all components of transportation including operations of heart and contraction of arteries among others.

Test Yourself 

i. Which of the following vein transports purified blood from lungs to heart?

(a) Hepatic vein.   

(b) Vena cava.

(c) Pulmonary vein.

(d) Renal vein.

ii. Which of the following transports water in plants?  

(a) Root hair.   

(b) Stomata.   

(c) Phloem.   

(d) Xylem.  

[To check your answer, see the solution mentioned at the end of the article]

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i. (c) Pulmonary vein

ii. (d) Xylem  

FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

1. Which Parts are Involved in Transportation in Plants?

Ans. Xylem and phloem tissues in plants are involved in the transportation of water and nutrients within a plant body. 

2. Which Parts are Involved in Transportation in Animals?

Ans. Combination of the circulatory system and excretory system helps with transportation in an animal body. 

What is the Major Difference Between Transportation in Plants and Animals?

Ans. In an animal body, the circulatory system is controlled by the heart. However, no such control is present over transportation in the plant body.