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Limiting Factors & the Rate of Photosynthesis.

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Introduction

Limiting Factors & the Rate of Photosynthesis James Irwin Introduction Photosynthesis can be defined as the production of simple sugars from carbon dioxide and water causing the release of sugar and oxygen. For photosynthesis to take place a plant requires carbon dioxide, water, light, a suitable temperature, chlorophyll and availability of nutrients. The raw materials of photosynthesis are carbon dioxide and water. Carbon Dioxide is the only form in which a plant can take in carbon, however, in this case using an aquatic plant, in may obtain it from hydrogen carbonate ions in the water. The limiting factors of photosynthesis are: * Light Intensity If you put a plant in total darkness, it cannot photosynthesize at all. As the amount of light is increased, the rate of photosynthesis increases until the chloroplast is working at full capacity. At this level of light intensity, adding more light makes not difference to the rate of photosynthesis. In fact, it may reduce it, because very bright light can bleach chlorophyll and make the leaf much less efficient. This graph resembles that as the increase in light intensity (which can be measured in lux) increases, the rate of photosynthesis, until another factor such as carbon dioxide or temperature, limits it. ...read more.

Middle

This is because in a variegated leaf the cells either contain chlorophyll or they don't. Carbon dioxide concentration will directly affect the rate of photosynthesis as it is used in the photosynthesis reaction. It is also easy to change the amount of carbon dioxide that the plant receives. Light is also directly used in the photosynthesis reaction and is easy to change in normal lab conditions. Carbon Dioxide and Light are the factors that I will change in the experiment as they are easy to change and measure. Photosynthesis and the Environment Limiting factors are of great importance to plants in their natural surroundings. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere does not vary much, but in temperate regions light and temperature fluctuate considerably both in the course of a day and from one season to another. On a warm summer day, light and temperature are generally well above their minimum value for plants living in the open, and carbon dioxide is the factor limiting photosynthesis. But in the cool of the early morning or evening, light or temperature may become limiting factors, as they do in the winter. Habitat is also important: for plants living in shady place such as the floor of a forest or wood, light will be the limiting factor most, if not all, the time. ...read more.

Conclusion

Relationship between forest net primary productivity and annual precipitation Adapted from H. Lieth. 1973. Primary production: terrestial ecosystems. Human Ecology 1: 303-332. This Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) allows scientists to gauge our planet's metabolism on an almost daily basis. This composite image over the continental United States, acquired during the period March 26th April 10, 2000, shows regions where plants were more or less productive i.e., where they 'inhaled' carbon dioxide and then used the carbon from photosynthesis to build new plant structures. The false-color image below provides a map of how much carbon was absorbed out of the atmosphere and fixed within land vegetation. Areas colored blue show where plants used as much as 60 grams of carbon per square meter. Areas colored green and yellow indicate a range of anywhere from 40 to 20 grams of carbon absorbed per square meter. Red pixels show absorption of less than 10 grams of carbon per square meter and white pixels (often areas covered by snow or masked as urban) show little or no absorption. This is one of a number of new measurements that MODIS provides to help scientists understand how the Earth's landscapes are changing over time. Scientists' goal is use of these GPP measurements to refine computer models to simulate how the land biosphere influences the natural cycles of water, carbon, and energy throughout the Earth system. ...read more.

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