Plant Biology

Plant Biology

In this module:

  1. Photosynthesis: Information
  2. Photosynthesis: Practicals
  3. Transpiration

Photosynthesis: Information

Photosynthesis story 01:

Photosynthesis introduction. The “push-me-pull-you”. Linking with respiration and compensation point.

Photosynthesis story 02:

The photosynthesis story continues considering water stress and transpiration. Looking at chloroplast and mitochondria diagrams and some functions. Light and light-independent reactions.

Photosynthesis story 03:

The importance of chlorophyll and other pigments. Chromatography opportunities, ideas for colorimeter uses, and other possible investigations The practical details will follow.

Photosynthesis story 04:

The importance of light for photosynthesis. Just what is light and what effects might we expect? Light duration, intensity, colours (wavelength). More practical details to follow.

Photosynthesis story 05:

Limiting factors and variables involved in photosynthesis. Light intensity is the most commonly referred to.

Photosynthesis story 06:

Beginning to consider the light intensity / light source distances. The relationship between light intensity and lamp distances from the plant. Considering the complexities of plotting what seems straightforward data.

Photosynthesis story 07:

Plants for photosynthesis and other ideas. Many more specific practical techniques will follow.

Photosynthesis: Practicals

Photosynthesis and sensors: Introduction:

This is an introduction into using gas sensors and our spectrophotometer. Dissolved oxygen in pondweed; oxygen and carbon dioxide sensors in a chamber. Spectrophotometer and olive oil chlorophyll. There is more to come in this section.

Photosynthesis practical idea 01:

Growing variegated geraniums and other plants to try to investigate the effects of carbon dioxide concentrations on growth / biomass.

Photosynthesis practical idea 02:

Looking at light and photosynthesis using water weeds. Different light sources. Measuring light intensity with a ‘lux APP’. Alternative ways to collect gases produced by water weed. Measuring gas volumes with a capillary tube.

Photosynthesis practical idea 03:

The Audus apparatus to collect gas volumes. There are more simple pieces of equipment. A good idea for making ‘rate’ calculations of mm2 gas produced per minute. Using ‘old’ burettes to collect bubbles for counting and possibly measure gas volumes.

Photosynthesis practical idea 04:

A very simple way to alter light intensity with layers of bandage. This could easily develop into the classic demonstration looking and water weed and water snails.

Photosynthesis practical idea 05:

A variation on the bicarbonate indicator and photosynthesis demonstration. You could use algae beads or other sources. Trying to reduce the effects of shading or other strategies to obtain results. The colours of the indicator are due to the pH changes. Set up known standards to compare.

Photosynthesis practical idea 06:

Measuring photosynthesis and respiration with gas sensors to measure oxygen and carbon dioxide. Do not ‘over fill’ the chamber as the light can not reach the leaves. Canopy architecture considerations. Maximum light applied where possible.

Photosynthesis practical idea 07:

A very simple way to obtain information about chlorophyll and light absorbance. Providing you have a spectrophotometer of course.

Photosynthesis practical idea 08:

Looking at light and lux readings using a freely available light sensor for a smart phone.


Transpiration 01:

A variation on the leaf washing line demonstration. Record the mass of leaves ‘before and after’ to gather an estimate of water loss to begin a more considered transpiration investigation.

Transpiration 02:

Using Oak leaves, as an example, to explore the importance of the leaf surface in water loss. Ideas for the abiotic (or environmental) factors to explore. The possible use of cobalt chloride paper to detect water loss. Sealed polythene bags allow you to observe the water vapour from the leaves.

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