Monday, 16 June 2014

Does photosynthesis occur under water?

In short, yes. Land plants need three things to synthesis glucose; light, carbon dioxide and water. It’s exactly the same for underwater plants, and in fact photosynthesis began under water where algae and similar plants first evolved.

It’s simply a process of adapting to the diminished light levels under water, especially if you go deep. Those plants have evolved to photosynthesis at a much slower rate.

However some plants, such as Corals for example, will build layer upon layer of themselves to reach a higher level of light. Whereas Lotus leaves will form on the surface of the water, in large flat areas to absorb light.

You’d be surprised at just how much carbon dioxide is available in the water. Most of the co2 is produced from the respiration of fish, and the remainder is from the decomposition of organic matter.

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