For an explanation, see the main splats page
SPLATS about photosynthesis
The principles of photosynthesis
- Plants are producer organisms, but they need both oxygen for respiration and carbon dioxide for photosynthesis in order to operate as a living organism.
- Most photosynthesis happens in leaves, but it can also take place in cladodes and phyllodes, which are modified and flattened stems and petioles.
- All of the photosynthetic parts of plants (leaves, cladodes and phyllodes) contain chloroplasts, small organelles where photosynthesis actually takes place.
- Photosynthetic parts need stomates or pores to let gases in and out: the opening of the stomates is controlled by the guard cells on either side of the stomate.
- Photosynthesis in plants would not take place without the chlorophyll that is contained in the chloroplasts, which is used to produce energetic electrons.
- According to serial endosymbiosis theory, chloroplasts were once independent organisms which then found welcoming shelter inside other primitive organisms.
- Plants appear to be green because chlorophyll does not extract the energy from green light, and this wavelength is reflected away from the leaf.
- In any conditions, there will always be a limiting factor on productivity in plants, some item which is in short supply and so limits photosynthesis.
- Plants use at least two different photosynthetic pathways, known as C3 and C4. C4 plants are more efficient than C3 plants in photosynthesis.
- The difference between C3 and C4 plants lies in just a few key enzymes, but it leads to curious effects which may be detected long after the plant has died.
- The uptake of the stable isotopes of carbon, carbon-12 and carbon-13, varies between C3 (less carbon-13) and C4 plants, which have more carbon-13.
- An examination of the stable carbon isotopes in animal material reveals whether the animals ate C3 or C4 plants, and so may indicate past climate details.
This file is http://members.ozemail.com.au/~macinnis/scifun/, first created on February 18, 2009. Last recorded revision (well I get lazy and forget sometimes!) was on February 18, 2009.
©The author of this work is Peter Macinnis, who asserts his sole right to the product as it is packaged here, recognising that many of the ideas are common. You are free to use this as a model to do your own version. Copies of this whole file or site may be made and stored or printed for personal or educational use. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, but only if you add my first name to the front of that email address -- this is a low-tech way of making it harder to harvest the e-mail address I actually read.
This site had 219,000 hits on the index page from 1999 to January 2007 and an unknown number on other pages. In January 2007, a combined counter was placed on all of the pages, counting page hits which now total