Background

Physiology is the branch of biology that focuses on the function of structures and the variety of dynamic processes that allow an organism to live. Understanding all the processes, such as photosynthesis or protein synthesis, can help us understand the organism. This understanding can also help us adjust conditions for practical purposes, such as to increase crop yields or control pests. This laboratory topic introduces three important processes in the lives of plants—photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration. Unfortunately, this is only a glimpse into the fascinating inner workings of a live plant.

This lab is divided into four exercises. The first explores the flow of carbon dioxide related to photosynthesis and respiration. The second investigates factors affecting the production of starch via photosynthesis. The third and fourth exercises explore the flow of water out of plants via transpiration; Exercise C examines transpiration for individual leaves and plants, and Exercise D demonstrates what happens when plants act togedicr in a community.

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