Free Essay: Factors Affecting Rate of Photosynthesis
Photosynthesis is an important process in plants. Through this, green plants use CO2 and water in the presence of water to form glucose. This means one determine the rate at which the plant is manufacturing glucose within some time. By understanding the rate of photosynthesis, it would be possible to adjust it in order to increase the crop yield. In this essay, we shall discuss factors, which affect the rate of photosynthesis in plants. The three main factors are light, temperature and carbon dioxide. These are commonly known as limiting factors.
Light: Light is a major factor in photosynthesis. The higher the light intensity, the higher the rate of photosynthesis. The relationship between the two, i.e. light and photosynthesis is linear. However, it is important to note that the rate of photosynthesis will not continue increasing. At some point, the light intensity alone does not affect the process, as temperature and carbon dioxide become limiting factors. Most plants are adaptive to light intensity as their leaves absorb maximum light and do not block those below them from receiving the light. Moreover, excess light intensity will destroy the chloroplasts.
Temperature: The second factor that affects photosynthesis is temperature. The higher the temperature, the higher the rate of photosynthesis. In understanding this, it is worth noting that photosynthesis is a chemical reaction and most of these reactions increase with high temperatures. However, there is optimum temperature, above which photosynthesis does not happen because the enzymes responsible are sensitive to temperature and cannot function beyond 40 °C.
Importantly, low temperatures affect the rate of photosynthesis in plants. This is because enzymes become less active in moving to get in contact with the substrate before a chemical reaction takes place. The explanation for this is that high temperature increases the chances of the substrate and the enzyme to collide. Since enzymes are, proteins they break when exposed to extreme temperatures. At such temperatures, the enzymes are denatured. With a greenhouse, it is possible to make use of higher temperatures for crops that require high temperatures to field more. However, different plants thrive in different environments, as there are those that perform well in cold regions and have low optimum temperatures.
Carbon dioxide: CO2 is an important element in photosynthesis as plants use it to form glucose. The rate of photosynthesis is directly proportional to CO2 concentration. It is important to note that at optimum CO2 levels, an increase in the gas will have no effect on photosynthesis because the other factors like light and temperature become limiting factors. Several crops like tomatoes require high levels of CO2 to perform well. It is possible to increase carbon dioxide concentration especially where you are using a greenhouse. Even though you may have to incur extra cost, this is worthwhile because it will result into high yields. Making use of CO2 to grow crops that need it in high concentration is better than releasing the gas into the air to cause pollution. Besides giving you profitable results, this is a major way of conserving the environment and taming global warming, which has become a global scourge.
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