What is water potential? How is water potential related to cells?

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jerichorayel eNotes educator| Certified Educator
Water potential is the potential energy of water per unit volume. It is also the tendency of water to move from one area to another due to osmosis, diffusion, gravity, tension or matrices. Water potential plays a great role in understanding the water movement phenomenon happening in living organisms. In cellular activities, water potential is the measure when water molecules travel in and out of the cell cue to changes in environment or concentrations. In plant cells, due to the presence of rigid cell wall, the pressure exerted when water goes in and out of the cell is called the turgor pressure. Plants cells should be turgid to maintain the rigidity of the cells.