The Effect of Temperature on Photosynthesis

Topics: Energy, Heat, Thermodynamics Pages: 4 (1085 words) Published: November 10, 2010
On this Earth, every living species needs energy to live. Energy is a product of photosynthesis, which is the process that converts energy in sunlight to chemical forms of energy that can be used by biological systems2. Many organisms are not able to use the energy obtained from sunlight directly; however, plants are able to use this energy and convert it into chemical energy by converting CO2 (carbon dioxide) and H2O (water) to organic materials3. The energy source for photosynthesis comes from sunlight, which allows for the fuel that drives photosynthesis. This process can be affected by several variables; one of the most notable variables is the temperature of the plant's environment.

Previous study has led me to conclude that when the temperature of the plants’ environment is low, the rate of photosynthesis is also low because the enzymes responsible for photosynthesis are not able to absorb as much heat energy and in turn will move slower. In contrast, if the temperature of the plant’s environment increases, the rate of photosynthesis will also increase because the enzymes and molecules responsible for photosynthesis are absorbing more heat energy and thus moving at faster rates. It is possible that if the temperature drops too low, or if it increases too drastically the plant could be damaged and the enzymes could become denatured3. If the enzymes are denatured, they will not be able to perform their function and the rate of photosynthesis could decline.

Apart from extreme temperature conditions which could cause plants photosynthetic enzymes to denature, we hypothesize that as the temperature of the plants environment increases, the rate of photosynthesis will also increase. Our independent variable will be temperature, and our dependent variable will be the rate of photosynthesis as measured by transmittance.

Materials and Methods (Longest section, very detailed):
To test our hypothesis, we performed an experiment...
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