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Investigate one factor which will affect the rate of photosynthesis

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Introduction

Investigate one factor which will affect the rate of photosynthesis Introduction Photosynthesis is the process by which plants make their own food. For photosynthesis to occur the plants need sunlight energy, the energy is absorbed by a green pigment called chlorophyll which is found in the leaves of the plant. This energy then combines with water molecules from the soil, and carbon dioxide from the air. After this, a type of sugar called glucose is produced which can be used for the plants energy and oxygen is made as a byproduct. The equation for photosynthesis is: 6CO2 + 6H2O -> C6 H12 O6 + 6O2. Any acceleration in the process of photosynthesis will naturally result in the production of more organic compounds and consequently more plant growth. There are certain things that affect photosynthesis called limiting factors. These are: light intensity, temperature, amount of carbon dioxide available and the amount of water available. Light intensity speeds up photosynthesis because sunlight is needed for the chemical reaction to happen and if the concentration of light is greater, more of it can be used to make glucose and oxygen. The reason is similar for how carbon dioxide and heat affect photosynthesis. Heat speeds up photosynthesis because the enzymatic reactions require the enzymes to be at a warm temperature to work at their best, although not above 40 oc as this is when they are destroyed by the heat. ...read more.

Middle

affects the rate of photosynthesis and so I need to make sure it is the light and not the temperature affecting my results. I will make sure of this by referring to my temperatures if they differ at the end to make sure they are not affecting my results. The amount of CO2 will also be kept the same as it also affects the rate of reaction and the volume of water the pondweed is kept in will also be kept the same. I am going to change the intensity of light by moving the lamp away from the pondweed and taking readings at different distances. The further the lamp is away from the pondweed the lower the density of light available to the pondweed. It is likely that anomalies will occur in my experiment. However, the micro burette will help me avoid anomalies because it gives accurate readings. It will be clear when a result is an anomaly because it will not fit in with the pattern I hope to see. In this situation I will make a note of the anomaly but then delete it and repeat the experiment until the anomaly is overwritten. Safety is an important factor in this experiment as the electricity from the lamp could potentially be dangerous being so close to the water. ...read more.

Conclusion

My evidence does support my conclusion because the amount of oxygen produced was greater (and therefore the rate of photosynthesis was greater) when the lamp was closer (and therefore the concentration of light was higher). This can be seen in the graph with the strong negative correlation and the strong pattern in my table of results. Improvements Although I think my experiment went well there is always room for improvement and if I did the experiment again I would avoid any anomalies by repeating the experiment more times to give a wider range of results and therefore a more accurate set of results. I could exclude all other natural light by possibly completing the experiment in a dark room to avoid fluctuations in natural light and stopping the plant having access to natural light. Plants prefer different wavelengths of light and this may have affected my results, I could expand the experiment by testing the affects different wavelengths on the plant. To do this I could see the affects of different coloured lamps- which would produce different wavelengths of light- on the rate of photosynthesis. To avoid human errors I could use electronic technology e.g. an probe placed in the water linked to a computer to record not only the amount of oxygen produced but also the other limiting factors like temperature, amount of carbon dioxide and the amount of natural and artificial light available to the plant. ?? ?? ?? ?? Rachel Wilkins 1 of 7 pages ...read more.

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