Guard cells are located within the lead epidermis of plants, surrounding each stoma. Typically, guard cells regulate the opening and closing of stomatal gas exchange, as transpiration (water evaporation) occurs. When the guard cells are swollen, the stomatal opening is large, increasing the flow of water. The stomatal opening closes when guard cells become flaccid, which usually occurs when water is lost or light levels drop. The pressure of a guard cell is controlled by movements of ions and sugars.
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