why do plants need the energy of sunlight


Plants are autotrophic organisms, meaning they generate a carbon energy source from inorganic components. They have adapted the capability of utilizing sunlight, water and atmospheric carbon dioxide to generate energy for cell maintenance and growth. The oxygen that we breath comes from the photosynthesis carried out by plants. Through the use of sunlight and carbon dioxide, the oxygen bound in water molecules is released into the atmosphere. During the photosynthetic process, electrons are removed from the water molecule, which is how oxygen becomes separated from the hydrogen. Plants are able to convert the heat energy from sunlight into a usable, chemical-free energy that drives the photosynthetic process. Without adequate sunlight, plants would not be able photosynthesize and no oxygen would be released into the atmosphere.


Biological activity slows as temperatures decrease. The cellular functions required for photosynthesis slow down as the air cools, thereby slowing growth. Additionally, cold air typically contains less moisture, which can result in water loss from leaf surfaces and also can cause portions of water inside of the plant to freeze. Plants require more than just a usable carbon source for maintaining their structure and increasing their growth potential. Through their root systems, they are able to obtain nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium from the soil. Also, soil serves to stabilize plants and prevent them from falling over. Fertilizers are frequently applied to stimulate plant growth. Certain nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus are often limited in supply, which can suppress plant growth.


Therefore, fertilizers give plants an additional growth boost.
БPlants need light for photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is the process of the plant making its own food,Б said Matt Kostelnick, senior horticulturist, at Ambius. Photosynthesis occurs within the chlorophyll inside the chloroplasts. Chloroplasts are the sites of photosynthesis. This is a two-step process: the light reactions and then the Calvin cycle. The photosystems involved in the light reactions are: the water-splitting photosystem in which electrons are extracted from water and oxygen is released into the atmosphere. The second photosystem that takes place is what is referred to as the NADPH Photosystem, in which electrons are moved from the chlorophyll to NADP-producing NADPH. Together the two photosystems release energy to the chloroplast, which then uses it to drive cellular processes crucial for plant survival.


Inside the thick double-membraned layer of the chloroplast is a thick fluid called stroma and inside is an apparatus of stacked green sacs known as grana. This is where the chloroplast molecules capture light energy. The energy from the light is utilized to produce ATP (adenosine triphosphate) as well as NADPH. ATP is the cellular molecule that supplies cells with the energy to do work. NADPH is an electron carrier used in the Calvin cycle where it transforms carbon dioxide into high energy sugar which, in turn, is used by cells to make glucose and other needed organic molecules. Alas, memories of high school biology class come flooding in while attempting to accurately recall all that was taught.

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