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Factors Influencing Photosynthesis: Temperature

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Cellular Energy: Photosynthesis

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Factors Influencing Photosynthesis: Temperature

Biology

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By conducting an experiment, you will determine how temperature affects the rate of photosynthesis.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Define photosynthesis as a series of chemical reactions by which plants convert light energy into usable chemical energy.
  • Identify the inputs required for and the products of photosynthesis.
  • Explain why temperature affects the rate of photosynthesis.
  • Identify the optimum temperature for photosynthesis when shown a graph.
  • Explain how enzymes play a role in the rate of photosynthesis.

Everything You'll Have Covered

Photosynthesis is a series of chemical reactions by which plants convert light energy into usable chemical energy.

In this process, sunlight is absorbed by chlorophyll inside the chloroplasts of plant cells. In order for photosynthesis to take place, the plant must take in carbon dioxide and water. As a result of photosynthesis, carbohydrates and oxygen are produced.

The rate at which a plant conducts photosynthesis is not always the same. Various factors influence the rate at which photosynthesis takes place, including the amount of carbon dioxide present, the amount of water, the chlorophyll concentration, light intensity, and temperature. These factors can increase the rate of photosynthesis. However, the rate of photosynthesis cannot increase indefinitely. Once a certain level is reached, the rate of photosynthesis no longer increases.

As temperature increases, so does the rate of photosynthesis. However, the rate will only increase until the optimal temperature value is reached. If this value is surpassed, the rate of photosynthesis will actually decrease. This is because photosynthesis is controlled by enzymes. As biological catalysts, enzymes speed up the reactions that take place during photosynthesis and have an optimal temperature range. When the temperature rises above this optimal range, the enzymes begin to break apart and do not function as well. In turn, the rate of photosynthesis decreases.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 25 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts Students should be familiar with enzymes, oxygen, photosynthesis, plants, and temperature.
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Experiment
Key Vocabulary carbohydrates, carbon dioxide, catalysts