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Photosynthesis Energy Genetics reproduction Ecosystems

light and photosynthesis


Introduction to photosynthesis

Every living creature needs food or energy to survive. Some depend on others for food and energy, whiles others can produce their own food.

explain photosynthesis to kidsPlants make their own food, glucose, in a process called photosynthesis. We say that plants can photosynthesise.

Photosynthesis and respiration go hand in hand. The result of photosynthesis is glucose, which is stored as chemical energy in the plant cells.
This stored chemical energy comes from the conversion of inorganic carbon (carbon dioxide) into organic carbon. Respiration releases the stored chemical energy.


bulletsLiving things that depend on others for food
are called heterotrophs. Herbivores like cows and
other plant eating insects are examples of heterotrophs

bulletsLiving things that produce their own food are
called autotrophs
. Green plants and algae are
good examples of autotrophs.

Apart from the food they manufacture, plants also need carbon, hydrogen and oxygen to survive. Water absorbed from the soil provides the hydrogen and oxygen. During photosynthesis, carbon and water are used to synthesize food. They also need nitrate to make amino acids (Amino acid an ingredient for making protein). In addition to that, they need magnesium to make chlorophyll.

In this lesson, we shall learn more about how plants manufacture food (photosynthesis), and learn more about the conditions that must be present for this to happen.


green plants make their own food