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Are Plants Necessary?

Lets learn about photosynthesis!

Plants are producers

Producers-make their own food using photosynthesis

Synthesis= combination of 2 or more substances to make another substance. chemical reaction

Using the energy from sunlight plus carbon dioxide from the air and water from soil plants to produce carbohydrates (sugar/glucose) and oxygen What would that look like?

(6)CO + (6)H 0 + SUNLIGHT

2 2

C H 0 + (6)0
6 12 6


Carbon dioxide plus water plus energy from the sun equals sugar (glucose) and oxygen Plants use the chloroplasts found in green plants to do this. Chloroplast contain chlorophyll, green pigment, which capture the light. Types of plants that use photosynthesis: algae, grass, trees, flowers, shrubs, moss, etc.

Why produce the glucose?

Plants use the sugar for energy. This process is referred to as Cellular respiration. Plants use the sugar for growing. If sugars are connected in long chains it is called cellulose. Where do plants use cellulose?

Plants can store sugar for future energy needs.

How does photosynthesis happen?

Carbon dioxide enters the plant in the stomata in the leaves.

Water enters through the root system.

Then CO2 combines with water. They use energy from the sun to cause a chemical reaction.

The products are oxygen and carbohydrates.

The sugar moves through the plant to spread to the roots, leaves, and fruits/flowers. Some is used immediately while some is stored.

C H 0 + (6)O
6 12 6

(6)CO + (6)H 0 + ATP

2 2

Cellular Respiration: sugar plus oxygen equals carbon dioxide plus

water and most important energy the plant can use. Plants (and animal cells) use the mitochondria to release the energy (ATP) that is in the sugar. ATP is the energy cells need to do work. Energy from the sun used in photosynthesis is changed by chemical reaction. This energy must then be transferred into usable energy for the plant. This is where cellular respiration comes in. Different from photosynthesis because all living things use cellular respiration while only green plants use photosynthesis.

Why do I need to know this?

Here the picture shows the cycle. Energy from the sun and oxygen and water help the plant to make sugar. The sugar and oxygen are then used to make ATP. ATP gives the plant energy. Where do humans fit into this cycle? es.htm picture from this source.

Consider this.

Why are these processes important to us? What is at the beginning of the cycle? This consideration leads to food webs. We will talk about these later so think about it. Scientists believe that there was little oxygen on the planet before plants. Think how that would effect life on Earth. Such a small thing has made a huge impact. What will we do without plants?