Since plants cannot move around in search of food, they’ve adapted a way of producing their own food. Through the process of photosynthesis, plants convert water, sunlight and carbon dioxide to a sugar they could either shop for the future, or use to satisfy immediate energy needs.
Sunlight and Plant Pigments
Energy is required in order to break down water and carbon dioxide molecules and reassemble them as sugar molecules. Photon particles in sunlight supply that energy supply for plants, which absorb these particles with specialized pigments, like chlorophyll. The precise quantity of chlorophyll required for photosynthesis varies by species, which is the reason why some plants require full sun while others tolerate colour. Chlorophyll is also what makes plant leaves appear green during the plant’s growth season. Chlorophyll pigments don’t easily absorb yellows or greens in sunlight, so those hues are reflected away from the plant.
Add Some Water
Water should also be present in plants for photosynthesis to occur. Water acts as a reducing agent in the chemical process that breaks down carbon dioxide molecules. Water also acts as a transportation means for carrying nutrients and sugars to all parts of the plant. The plant releases much of that water through a process known as transpiration. This process generates a siphoning action in order that plants can absorb water in the ground through roots. In warmer climates, and during exceptionally hot days in the summer, plants require more water than usual in order to run photosynthesis as much more water evaporates to the environment during transpiration.
Plants absorb carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through tiny, specialized cells that make an opening known as a stomata. The cells contract or expand to open or close the stomata, allowing the plant to pull carbon dioxide just when required. The stomata are located in the epidermis, the outermost tissue layer of leaves. Carbon dioxide exists in the atmosphere as a consequence of decaying organic matter as well as the expelled gas from animal respiration. Since plants use this gas in order to generate food, they bathe the atmosphere of carbon dioxide, also much of that could harm creature life.
The precise sequence of chemical reactions happening in plant leaves during photosynthesis is complex. The components of sunlight photon energy, water and carbon dioxide result in glucose molecules — a simple sugar or sugar — that fuels all the actions of this plant. During photosynthesis, the plant combines six water molecules along with six carbon dioxide molecules to produce 1 glucose molecule and six oxygen molecules. Some glucose gets absorbed from the leaves during photosynthesis, but much of it has stored away for overwintering and also for new growth in spring. The plant releases oxygen to the atmosphere as a photosynthesis byproduct it doesn’t require.