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Photosynthesis - Photosynthesis Obtaining energy from light...

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1 Photosynthesis Obtaining energy from light The process of obtaining this energy The bigger picture of light and energy Definitions to get us started Autotroph: an organism capable of living solely on its own using inorganic materials and some source of energy (e.g. sunlight) Heterotroph: an organism that cannot make its’ own food, requires something that is already made Let’s boil this down Photosynthesis can really be considered as occurring in two general steps: – First, converting light energy to chemical bonds in reduced molecules (electron carriers) and ATP – Second, reduced electron carriers and ATP are used to drive the synthesis of carbon dioxide that is taken in from the atmosphere
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2 OR… We can also think of this from an ecological perspective We can think of photosynthesis in terms of NPP, the amount of carbon dioxide taken in from the atmosphere and “fixed” into plant tissues (more on this later).
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