Here is a brief overview of photosynthesis, a
process carried out by plants. Plants use this
process to obtain food, or energy, and without it
they would not be alive. Photosynthesis occurs in
the chloroplast of the plant, an organelle in
plant cells devoted to this process. Plants take
in carbon dioxide (CO2), water
(H2O), and light from the sun and
convert it to sugar for themselves and oxygen for
the environment. Other organisms, other than
plants, usually need oxygen to survive and should
not be taking in CO2 because it is
"dirty air". Plants take the "dirty air" and
convert it to "clean air", or oxygen for other
organisms. Without oxygen many organisms, like
humans and animals, wouldn't survive.
This is why global warming, pollution, and
deforesting are big issues in the world today. The
increase in pollution, which is increased
CO2 in the air, doesn't let organisms
thrive. The excess CO2 leads to warming
and many other consequences.
Photosynthesis is the primary source of energy for
life on Earth to use, and is also the primary
source of oxygen in the atmosphere. Barring a few
bacteria in volcanic vents using volcanic chemical
energy to survive, all life on Earth depends
directly or indirectly on photosynthesis.
That is quite the question. Photosynthesis is
probably the #2 most important biological reaction
for life on this planet. All energy that is used
by living organisms on earth derived originally
from the sun and sunlight (except for deep ocean
trenches). Photosynthesis is the reaction by which
organisms package light energy (in the form of
photons) into chemical energy, namely sugars.
These sugar molecules are little packets of energy
that can be moved within an organism and broken
down to utilize the energy for a variety of
purposes. These sugars can also be passed along
food chains from one organism to another. Fruit is
sweet because of the sugar molecules that were
generated from photosynthesis in the fruit tree.
We can eat meat and gain energy from it as the
molecules in the meat came from an herbivore that
digested plant material and derived energy from
the photosynthetic outputs of plants.
Photosynthesis is the basis of virtually every
food chain on the planet.
When an organism undergoes the process of
photosynthesis, it generates ATP, a chemical form
of energy that is usable by the organism. However,
it also has by-products, such oxygen, which is
used in cellular respiration by non-plant
organisms. Thus, there is a sort of "symbiotic"
relationship between plants and non-plant
organisms: plants use carbon dioxide to make
themselves ATP and have a by-product of oxygen.
Animals use oxygen to make themselves ATP and have
a by-product of carbon dioxide!
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