The Rate Of Photosynthesis
The rate that photosynthesis occurs is dependent on a variety of conditions.
By looking at the equation you would guess that a plant would need a large
amount of water and carbon dioxide for the highest rate of
photosynthesis to occur.
There are also other variables to take into account such as temperature and
sunlight. If any of these are lacking then it is called a limiting factor.
The limiting factor also depends on the environmental
⇒ At night the obvious limiting factor is sunlight
⇒ In the winter months it is temperature
⇒ And in the summer months, when it is warm and bright, carbon dioxide
can be the limiting factor
Rate limiting graphs
Taking these graphs into account, you can artificially control the environments
for plants. This can be done in a number of ways:
⇒ A greenhouse can be used to trap the suns heat in order to make sure
that the temperature is no longer the limiting factor
⇒ To make sure light is not the limiting factor, artificial lights can used to
ensure photosynthesis occurs
⇒ Carbon dioxide can also be an issue, however this can be slved using
a paraffin heater which provides carbon dioxide
How do plants use the glucose
Once photosynthesis is complete plants use glucose in a number of ways
⇒ Respiration – it is used in respiration to produce energy
⇒ Cell walls – glucose can also be used in making cell walls in a plant,
especially one that has a fast growth rate
⇒ Protein – glucose can be turned into protein.
⇒ Seeds – glucose can be turned into fatty substances called lipids which
are then stored in seeds
⇒ Starch – the glucose if not used can be stored as starch, and can be used
when the rate of photosynthesis is low. Starch is insoluble which makes it
better for storage