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Stoma vs. Stomata: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Updated on November 28, 2023
Stoma is a single pore on a plant's surface for gas exchange; stomata refer to multiple such pores collectively.

Key Differences

A stoma is a singular term referring to one small opening or pore, usually found on the surface of plant leaves. Stomata is the plural form, indicating more than one stoma, collectively representing all the pores on a leaf or plant.
Each stoma serves as a passage for gas exchange, allowing oxygen and carbon dioxide to move in and out of the plant. Stomata, as a group, regulate the plant's overall gas exchange and water vapor release, crucial for photosynthesis.
The structure of a stoma includes guard cells that control its opening and closing. When discussing stomata, it involves the collective behavior of these structures, essential in maintaining a plant's water balance.
In plant biology, studying a stoma helps in understanding the individual function and mechanics of these pores. Examining stomata, however, provides insight into broader physiological processes like transpiration and photosynthesis in plants.
A stoma's opening and closing can be affected by environmental factors like light and humidity. Similarly, the behavior of stomata, as a whole, reflects the plant’s response to environmental changes, playing a key role in adaptation and survival.

Comparison Chart


Singular (one pore)
Plural (multiple pores)


Individual gas exchange and transpiration
Collective regulation of gas exchange and water balance


Includes guard cells for each pore
Refers to the collective structure of multiple pores

Role in Photosynthesis

Individual role in gas exchange
Collective impact on photosynthesis process

Response to Environment

Single stoma’s response
Collective response of all stomata to environmental factors

Stoma and Stomata Definitions


A microscopic opening on plant leaves for gas exchange.
The stoma on the leaf opened wider in the presence of sunlight.


Several pores on plant surfaces for gas and water exchange.
Stomata are integral to a plant’s ability to breathe and release excess water.


A singular opening for transpiration in plants.
The stoma's opening is vital for water vapor release from the plant.


Multiple openings that facilitate transpiration in plants.
The stomata's activity is crucial in regulating the plant's water balance.


A pore surrounded by guard cells in plant epidermis.
Each stoma plays a crucial role in the plant's breathing process.


Plural of stoma, referring to multiple openings on a plant.
The stomata collectively help the plant in photosynthesis.


A tiny aperture in leaves for environmental interaction.
The stoma adjusted its size in response to the changing humidity.


Groups of apertures controlling a plant’s gas exchange.
The stomata on these leaves open or close depending on the light.


An individual unit of gas exchange on a plant surface.
The plant's stoma closed to conserve water during dry conditions.


Collective term for all gas exchange units on a plant.
The plant's stomata closed at night to minimize water loss.


(Botany) One of the minute pores in the epidermis of a leaf or stem through which gases and water vapor pass. Also called stomate.


A plural of stoma.


(Anatomy) A small aperture in the surface of a membrane.


What is a stoma?

A single microscopic opening on a plant's surface for gas exchange.

What are stomata?

The plural form of stoma, referring to multiple such openings on plants.

What is the role of a stoma in photosynthesis?

It allows CO2 to enter and O2 to exit the plant leaf, essential for photosynthesis.

How do stoma and stomata function in plants?

A stoma regulates individual gas exchange; stomata collectively manage the plant's respiration and transpiration.

Do stomata respond to environmental changes?

Yes, stomata collectively respond to factors like light, humidity, and CO2 levels.

What controls the opening and closing of a stoma?

Guard cells around the stoma regulate its opening based on environmental conditions.

Is the number of stoma the same on all leaves?

No, it varies depending on the plant species and environmental conditions.

How do stomata affect a plant's water balance?

Stomata collectively regulate water vapor release, impacting the plant's hydration.

Are stoma only found on leaves?

Primarily, but they can also be present on stems and other plant parts.

How does light affect a stoma?

Light typically causes a stoma to open for photosynthesis.

Can the number of stomata vary between plants?

Yes, different plants have varying numbers of stomata based on their environment.

How do stomata impact air quality?

By facilitating gas exchange, they play a role in oxygen and water vapor release into the atmosphere.

How do stomata contribute to transpiration?

Stomata collectively facilitate water vapor release from the plant into the atmosphere.

Do all plants have stomata?

Most terrestrial plants have stomata, but their presence and number can vary.

How does CO2 concentration affect stomata?

High CO2 levels often lead to the closing of stomata to reduce water loss.

Can the size of a stoma change?

Yes, stomata can adjust their size based on environmental conditions.

Are stomata visible to the naked eye?

No, they are microscopic and require magnification to be seen.

Do stomata have a role in plant adaptation?

Yes, their collective response helps plants adapt to different environmental conditions.

What happens to a stoma during drought?

It usually closes to conserve water.

Can the function of stomata be affected by pollution?

Yes, pollutants can affect the opening and functioning of stomata.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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