PHOTOSYNTHESIS. Joseph Priestly 1772 experiment. SFSU Geography 316 Fall 2006 Dr. Barbara A. Holzman

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1 Nutrient Cycling I. A.Photosynthesis B. Respiration C. Production Primary productivity Gross Production Net Production II. Types of photosynthesis A. C3, B. C4, C. CAM D. Comparisons III. General Carbon Cycle: Inputs and Outputs Human Impact Joseph Priestly 1772 experiment PHOTOSYNTHESIS Conversion of light energy to chemical energy, or the production of carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water in the presence of chlorophyll. 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + (light) = C 6 H 12 O 6 +6O 2 1

2 What is Photosynthesis? Photosynthesis is the process by which plants, some bacteria, and some protistans use the energy from sunlight to produce sugar, which cellular respiration converts into ATP, the "fuel" used by all living things. The conversion of unusable sunlight energy into usable chemical energy, is associated with the actions of the green pigment chlorophyll. Most of the time, the photosynthetic process uses water and releases the oxygen. We can write the overall reaction of this process as: 6H 2 O + 6CO > C6H 12 O 6 + 6O 2 Photosynthesis 6H2O + 6CO2 ----> C6H12O6+ 6O2 water + carbon carbohydrate + dioxide oxygen Light energy Green plants (w/chlorophyll) absorb light energy and use it to produce glucose from carbon dioxide and water releasing oxygen as a byproduct Six molecules of water plus six molecules of carbon dioxide produce one molecule of sugar plus six molecules of oxygen 2

3 The raw materials of photosynthesis, water and carbon dioxide, enter the cells of the leaf, and the products of photosynthesis, sugar and oxygen, leave the leaf. Plants are the only photosynthetic organisms to have leaves (and not all plants have leaves). A leaf may be viewed as a solar collector crammed full of photosynthetic cells. RESPIRATION: The rate at which energy is used to do work in an ecosystem, or the process by which organic compounds are transformed into gaseous CO2. C 6 H 12 O 6 +6O 2 = 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + usable energy(heat) 3

4 Types of Photosynthesis C3 photosynthesis C4 photosynthesis CAM photosynthesis C3 most widely distributed type of photosynthesis. Includes all algae and most vascular plants. C3 plants are best adapted to cool moist, moderate light conditions. C4 occurs only in vascular plants, mostly grasses. C4 plants are best adapted to hot, dry sunny conditions. Commonly found in tropics 4

5 bh1 CAM--crassulacean acid metabolism. Assimilation of CO2 occurs at night, and includes both C3 and C4 processes. CAM plants often have a reverse stomatal rhythm where their stomates are open at night and closed during the day. Water loss is minimal. Comparisons between photosynthetic strategies C3,C4 photosynthesize during day CAM at night Amount of photosynthesis depends on temperature: C3 cooler temperatures does best, C4 hotter climates does best C4 can take advantage of high light intensity, C3 levels out PRODUCTION: the process of energy input and storage in ecosystems. Gross Production: (PG) -- the energy input into the ecosystem. (total amount of carbohydrate produced) Net Production: (PN) -- the energy storage in an ecosystem, or the rate of growth in the system. (the amount of carbohydrate remaining after respiration) PN can be figured by the following formula: PN = PG - R 5

6 Primary Productivity of Ecosystems Net primary productivity (NPP) Estuaries Swamps and marshes Tropical rain forest Temperate forest Northern coniferous forest (taiga) Savanna Agricultural land Woodland and shrubland Temperate grassland Lakes and streams Continental shelf Open ocean Tundra (arctic and alpine) Desert scrub Extreme desert 800 1,600 2,400 3,200 4,000 4,800 5,600 6,400 7,200 8,000 8,800 9,600 Average net primary productivity (kcal/m 2 /yr) Fig. 4.25, p. 88 Earth s gross primary productivity Fig. 4.24, p. 87 Carbon cycle 6

7 The Carbon Cycle (Terrestrial) Atmosphere (mainly carbon dioxide) volcanic action Terrestrial rocks photosynthesis aerobic respiration combustion of wood (for clearing land; or for fuel leaching runoff weathering Soil water (dissolved carbon) Land food webs producers, consumers, decomposers, detritivores death, burial, compaction over geologic time sedimentation Peat, fossil fuels Human Impacts Human Impact 7

8 Carbon cycle in the Ocean The Carbon Cycle (Aquatic) Diffusion between atmosphere and ocean Carbon dioxide dissolved in ocean water combustion of fossil fuels photosynthesis aerobic respiration Marine food webs producers, consumers, decomposers, detritivores incorporation into sediments death, sedimentation uplifting over geologic time sedimentation Marine sediments, including formations with fossil fuels 8

9 Nutrient Cycling I. Plants are large component of the carbon cycle A.Photosynthesis 6H2O + 6CO2 ->light>- C6H12O6+ 6O2 B. Respiration (C 6 H 12 O 6 +6O 2 = 6CO 2 + 6H 2 O + usable energy(heat) C. Production Primary productivy Gross Production respiration = Net Production II. Types of photosynthesis A. C3 (common), C4(grasses), CAM (deserts) D. Comparisons III. General Carbon Cycle: Inputs and Outputs Human Impact (terrestrial and aquatic) 9

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