The Ginkgo tree transports its nutrients and water the way most other vascular plants transport theirs, through the xylem and the phloem. The xylem is used for transporting water and the phloem is used for carrying nutrients throughout the tree. The xylem pulls the water up through the tree due to water properties such as adhesion, cohesion, tension, and evaporation. The phloem pushes the nutrients that it makes through photosynthesis down towards the roots.

Almost all plants, including Ginkgo biloba, must go through photosynthesis to obtain nutrients for themselves. Photosynthesis is the process by which sunlight and water enter the leaves of plants (specifically, the chlorophyll organelles) and from there they go through a series of reactions to create ATP and NADPH. These reactions also create oxygen gas as a waste product. ATP, NADPH, and carbon dioxide then travel through the Calvin cycle to produce sucrose (mostly in the form of glucose) for the rest of the plant to use. After making glucose in the leaves, the plant uses the phloem to push the nutrients down throughout the tree and even into the roots where the endotrophic mycorrhizae (refer to INTERACTIONS) are located.  A few organisms that also go through photosynthesis are Cyanobacteria, the Olive tree,
and the Artichoke plant.

Another way Ginkgo biloba obtains nutrients is through interactions with the endotrophic mycorrhizae. This fungus wraps itself around the roots of the Ginkgo tree and helps to feed nutrients into the tree, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The Ginkgo aids the fungus by pushing some of its sucrose down close enough to where the fungal hyphae can reach it.

Go to ADAPTIONS to see how Ginkgo biloba has adjusted to its environment over the past 200+ million years!