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Determine whether or not the intensity of light would affect the rate of photosynthesis in a plant.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

��ࡱ�>�� df����c�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������5@ ��0Vbjbj�2�2 (��X�XfK�������������������8 ���v��������DFFFFFF$;R��j������j���������D�D$��$�� �� r�����$D�0�$g �g $������g �$ �������jjGCSE Biology - Photosynthesis Coursework Aim The aim of my experiment was to determine whether or not the intensity of light would affect the rate of photosynthesis in a plant. To do this, I placed a piece of Canadian pondweed in varying light intensities, and observed the amount of oxygen being given off. I used Canadian pondweed because of its unusual quality of giving off bubbles of gas from a cut end, when placed in water. Introduction Photosynthesis occurs only in the presence of light, and takes place in the chloroplasts of green plant cells. Photosynthesis can be defined as the production of simple sugars from carbon dioxide and water causing the release of sugar and oxygen. The chemical equation for photosynthesis can be expressed as: (light) 6CO2 + 6H2O � C6H12O6 + 6O2 (in the presence of chlorophyll) The fact that all plants need light in order to photosynthesise has been proven many times in experiments, and so it is possible to say that without light, the plant would die. The reason that light intensity does affect the rate of photosynthesis is because as light, and therefore energy, falls on the chloroplasts in a leaf, it is trapped by the chlorophyll, which then makes the energy available for chemical reactions in the plant. Thus, as the amount of sunlight, or in this case light from a bulb, falls on the plant, more energy is absorbed, so more energy is available for the chemical reactions, and so more photosynthesis takes place in a given time. There are many factors, which affect the rate of photosynthesis, including light intensity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration. The maximum rate of photosynthesis will be constrained by a limiting factor. This factor will prevent the rate of photosynthesis from rising above a certain level, even if the other conditions needed for photosynthesis are improved. ...read more.

Middle

Audus apparatus Using the described method, I found the following results: Results for main experiment Distance Light intensity length 1 length 2 average length (cm) (lux) (mm) (mm) (mm) 5 1015 3.5 3.5 3.5 10 945 3.5 3.5 3.5 12 770 4 3 3.5 14 639 3.5 3.5 3.5 16 500 3 3.5 3.25 18 395 3 3 3 20 310 2 3.5 2.75 25 208 1.5 2.5 1.75 30 149 1.5 1.5 1.5 35 110 1 1 1 40 80 0.5 1 0.75 45 55 0 0.5 0.25 Although, because I was using light intensity as my variable, I did not need to record the distances as well, I did, simply to use them as a marker for each result, so that I only had to record the light intensity once at the beginning and from then I just had to align the lamp at the correct distance each time. Analysis My graph was in the form of a best-fit curve. I drew it as a curve rather than a straight line because of the clear pattern of the points. This meant that the rate of photosynthesis increased as the light intensity increased. This was because photosynthesis is a reaction, which needs energy from light to work, so as the amount of energy available from light increased with the rise in light intensity, so did the amount of oxygen produced as a product of photosynthesis. My graphs showed that the relationship between the light intensity and the rate of photosynthesis was non-linear, as both graphs produced a best-fit curve. However, as I expected in my hypothesis, it does appear that for the very first part of the graph, the increase in rate is in fact proportional to the increase in light intensity (i.e. a straight line) and I can show this by taking some readings from the graph: Light intensity Rate of photosynthesis (All increase by the 100 1 (mm/min) ...read more.

Conclusion

To extend my enquiries into the rate of photosynthesis, I could perhaps try to link in some of the other limiting factors to the same experiment, as well as investigating them in their own right. 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