The key difference between transpiration and sweating is that transpiration is the loss of water as vapour through stomata from aerial plant parts, especially from the leaves while sweating is the excretion of sweat through pores in the skin for the purpose of regulating body temperature and removing certain compounds from the circulation.
Plants lose water through a process called transpiration. We lose water or sweat through the process called sweating. Both transpiration and sweating are excretion processes. Transpiration takes place through stomata while sweating takes place through the pores in the skin. Moreover, both transpiration and sweating cool the plant body and mammal body, respectively. Water evaporates in both processes.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Transpiration
3. What is Sweating
4. Similarities Between Transpiration and Sweating
5. Side by Side Comparison – Transpiration vs Sweating in Tabular Form
What is Transpiration?
Transpiration is the loss of water by evaporation through the stomata of plant leaves. Water moves through the plant and evaporates from aerial parts of the plant. When transpiration occurs in leaves, it creates a suction pressure in leaves. This is called transpiration pull. It pulls the water column from lower to upper parts of the plant. The transpiration pull of one atmospheric pressure can pull the water up to 15-20 feet in height according to the estimations. It is the main contributor to the movement of water and mineral nutrients upward in vascular plants. Transpiration pull requires the vessels to have a small diameter in order to lift the water upwards without a break in the water column.
Transpiration takes place in the day time. Stomata remain open during the day time in order to exchange gas. During the night, stomata close and prevent transpiration. Moreover, transpiration is important for plants since it maintains the temperature of the plant (cooling of the plant in direct sunlight). However, excessive transpiration can lead to the death of the plant. Both external and internal factors control transpiration. It is a physical process.
What is Sweating?
Sweating is the excretion of fluids by the sweat glands in the skin of mammals. It is a normal process occurring in our body. Sweating helps to regulate body temperature. In other words, sweating cools the body of the organism. Sweat is a salt-based fluid produced by the sweat glands. It mostly contains water. Environmental temperature, changes in body temperature and emotional status can cause sweating.
There are many sweat glands in our body. They are two types as eccrine and apocrine. Eccrine sweat glands are distributed in the many areas of the body while apocrine glands are present only in the armpits and a few other areas of the body.
What are the Similarities Between Transpiration and Sweating?
- Both transpiration and sweating are two types of excretions.
- Transpiration cools the plant body while sweating cools the human body.
- Both processes involve the evaporation of water.
What is the Difference Between Transpiration and Sweating?
Transpiration is the loss of water vapor from plant leaves while sweating is the excretion of sweat by sweat glands present in the skin of mammals. So, this is the key difference between transpiration and sweating. Furthermore, transpiration takes place through the leaf stomata while sweating takes place thought the pores in the skin.
Moreover, the water evaporated from the transpiration does not contain salt while sweat is a salt-based fluid.
Below tabulation shows more details of the difference between transpiration and sweating.
Summary – Transpiration vs Sweating
Transpiration and sweating are two types of loss of water from the body of the organism. Moreover, both processes cool the body of the organism. Transpiration takes place in plants. It is the loss of water vapor from plant leaves through stomata. Plants can control transpiration, and they have special adaptations in order to prevent excessive transpiration. Sweating takes place in mammals. It is the loss of fluid (sweat) through the pores in the skin. Sweat is produced by sweat glands present in the skin. It is a salt-based fluid. Thus, this is the summary of the difference between transpiration and sweating.
1. “Transpiration | Definition, Mechanism, & Facts”. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2020, Available here.
2. “Sweating (Normal Amounts): Causes, Adjustments, And Complications”. Healthline, 2020, Available here.