Photosynthesis

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All living organisms need a source of food for their continued existence and well being. The way in which plants obtain food is by producing it themselves through a process called Photosynthesis. In simple terms plants use the raw materials Carbon Dioxide, & Water, to produce Glucose, and Oxygen both essential to any living being not just plants.

These raw materials (Carbon Dioxide & Water) enter the cells of the leaf, which produces Glucose & Oxygen, and then leaves the leaf.

In more complex and mathematical terms the following formula can be associated with the Photosynthesis process

6H2O + 6CO2 → C6H12O6+ 6O2

A question which crops up heavily is why are the leaves of plants green?  

Well the answer is quite straight forward; due to the presence of the chemical Chlorophyll in the plants leafs, during the process of Photosynthesis, Chlorophyll absorbs red and blue wavelengths. The colour green itself is reflected from these wavelengths, making the colour appear green to the naked eye.

Chlorophyll itself is an important factor to the photosynthesis process, as it catches the rays of the sun, and coverts it to glucose of which contains sugar – which in turn provides useable energy.

Photosynthesis – Step by Step

In more complex terms the diagram represents each individual cell within the leaf of a plant, at first glance it does look quite overwhelming – however here is a short and precise guide as to which cells are involved with Photosynthesis:

     The water given to plants (e.g. when they are watered) travels up the root of the plant, (stomata) and through the cell Xylem.The job of this cell is to simply transfer the water from the roots to other parts of the plant

     Carbon dioxide cannot enter through the top layer of the leaf (Cuticle) and so can only enter through the stoma

For further reading on Photosynthesis visit – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Photosynthesis

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1 Comment

  • For a plant to grow, it must photosynthesise more than it respires. Otherwise, it will eventually exhaust its biomass and die. The potential for plant growth is net photosynthesis , the total gross gain of biomass by photosynthesis, minus the biomass lost by respiration. Understanding carnivory requires a cost-benefit analysis of these factors.

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