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Sample Essay on the Factors Affecting Rate of Photosynthesis

The rate of photosynthesis is defined as how fast or slow the process of photosynthesis takes place. This can be measured through the amount of glucose that is produced by a plant over a given period of time. This is an area that is of great concern to farmers as well as scientists. To farmers, understanding the factors affecting the rate of photosynthesis can assist in determining ways on how to increase the rate of photosynthesis for bountiful crop yields.

There are various factors that can affect the rate of photosynthesis like light intensity, temperature and carbon dioxide concentration.

With regards to light, it is important to note that the rate of photosynthesis increases with the increase of light intensity or when the light gets brighter. Many plants spread out their leaves in a way such that each maximizes the amount of light that is falling on them; the lower leaves are not shaded by the ones above. However, too much light supplied at high intensity can significantly damage chloroplasts. There are also certain woodland plants that synthesize more efficiently in dimly lit areas, these are called shade plants.

The higher the temperature; the greater the rate of photosynthesis. One important thing that should be noted is that Image 2photosynthesis is a chemical reaction and the rates of most chemical reactions are heightened by temperature. However, in the case of photosynthesis, the rate of the reaction slows down at temperatures above 40 Degrees Celsius. The reason for this is because the enzymes that are involved in the chemical reactions of photosynthesis are temperature sensitive and destroyed at higher temperatures. The effect of temperature on photosynthesis can be compared to that in enzymes. When the enzymes are exposed to very high temperatures, they breakdown and are distorted. If the temperature is so low, the enzymes move around so slowly for a reaction to take place.

Carbon dioxide plays a role in the manufacture of sugar in the process of photosynthesis. The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere of the earth varies from 0.03% to around 0.04%. In case there is an increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide, the rate of photosynthesis reaction will also be increased. In the open air, it can be challenging to undertake the experiment. However, it can be successfully conducted inside a greenhouse. In fact, quite a number of crops like tomatoes and even lettuce often produce higher yields when grown in greenhouses. Farmers often add additional carbon dioxide into the greenhouse so as to increase the concentration as well as the rate of photosynthesis of the crops. Due to the increased yields that farmers can get from the procedure, the additional cost of carbon dioxide is always not an issue.

The use of carbon dioxide in raising plants has been by several farmers today. Instead of pumping the waste gas into the atmosphere where it is a pollutant, it is directed into greenhouses for use in the photosynthesis process for additional yields.

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