Photosynthesis is an important process that contributes to almost all life on Earth by converting the energy of the sun into foods for plants and animals. Photosynthesis is carried out by green plants, algae, and some bacteria.
15 Benefits Of Photosynthesis For Ecosystem
Photosynthesis contributes to the oxygen cycle in the Earth’s biosphere. It is important to know about photosynthesis because it helps scientists’ study how climate change (global warming) affects plant systems.
Also, understanding photosynthesis can help scientists design better chemical processes for carbon dioxide reduction. For this article, I will be compiling a list that features 15 reasons why photosynthesis is important to the environment.
1. Photosynthesis Is A Primary Agent For Food Production
Photosynthesis is a process that helps plants and algae produce carbohydrates which can be utilized as food and energy sources for other organisms on earth, such as humans and animals. The total amount of photosynthesizing cells in the world has been estimated at 9 x 10^18, which is equal to about half of the total biomass on Earth.
2. Photosynthesis Is A Fundamental Part Of The Carbon Cycle
Carbon dioxide is an atmospheric gas that plants absorb for the production of oxygen during photosynthesis. In turn, plants, and animals release carbon dioxide when they breathe air and convert food into energy.
Carbon dioxide is then released into the atmosphere by cellular respiration or animal digestion. As a result, plants and animals help to regulate the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into and out of the atmosphere.
3. Photosynthesis Is Important To The Nitrogen Cycle
Nitrogen makes up 78% of our atmosphere, but plants can’t absorb nitrogen directly from the air. Most forms of nitrogen are unusable for plants, but certain bacteria living in soil and water are capable of converting nitrogen into a form that is usable for plants.
Photosynthesis plays an important role in the conversion of atmospheric nitrogen to ammonia or ammonium ions, both of which can be used by plants.
4. Photosynthesis Is An Important Carbon Fixation Mechanism
Photosynthesis allows plants and algae to store energy by converting carbon dioxide into sugar molecules. This process of converting carbon dioxide into sugars is called carbon fixation. Carbon fixation allows plants to store the sun’s energy in a form that other organisms can use as food and fuel.
Reference Video – The Simple Story Of Photosynthesis And Food
5. Photosynthesis Is An Important Part Of The Phosphorus Cycle
Photosynthesis requires a phosphate group as a fundamental part of its catalytic machinery. Without phosphates, photosynthesis would not be possible. Phosphorus is an essential element for life and it exists in the Earth’s lithosphere as minerals such as apatite and dolomite.
Phosphorous can also occur as phosphates dissolved in water. Organisms make use of these sources to obtain phosphate for their growth and metabolism. Photosynthesis plays an important role in the transfer of phosphate from rocks to the water.
6. Photosynthesis Is A Fundamental Part Of Life On Earth
Photosynthesis is a process that has been taking place on earth for more than 3 billion years since life first evolved on the planet. The only organisms that don’t engage in photosynthesis are certain types of bacteria and archaea, but these can get energy from other sources such as thermal hot springs or sulfur deposits.
Even though the process is essential for life on earth, atmospheric oxygen levels remained very low until around 2 billion years ago when many photosynthetic microbes started to produce oxygen as a by-product of their metabolism.
7. Photosynthesis Is An Important Contributor To Earth’s Green Atmosphere
Photosynthetic microbes are mostly responsible for the abundant green color of the sky during daylight hours. They absorb light with a peak in ultraviolet wavelengths and reflect away much of the blue-green light, giving Earth’s atmosphere its distinctive green hue.
8. Photosynthesis Is Being Used To Develop Clean Energy Technologies
Photosynthetic microbes can be harnessed to produce solar energy in a way that is much more efficient than producing biofuels from land plants. Certain microalgae species accumulate lipids as a natural part of their metabolism, which can be processed to make renewable gasoline, diesel, and jet fuels.
9. Photosynthesis Is Used To Produce Bioplastics
Bioplastics (or bio-polymers) are plastics derived from renewable biomass sources such as vegetable fats and oils, corn-starch, straw, or woodchips. They can be made into plastic resins that are biodegradable and non-toxic.
Making bioplastics usually involves converting sugars obtained from starch hydrolysis (a process that breaks down starch molecules into simpler sugar molecules) into high- molecular-weight polymers. Photosynthesis is an important part of this process because it allows microbes to combine atmospheric nitrogen with hydrogen atoms, which are derived from water molecules during photosynthesis, to produce ammonia (NH3).
10. Photosynthesis Is Used To Produce Hydrogen For Clean Energy
Hydrogen is an excellent energy storage medium that can be used in fuel cells to power electric devices and vehicles. Hydrogen gas (H2) is commercially produced through steam methane reforming, coal gasification, or biomass conversion.
Only about 15% of hydrogen currently produced comes from water splitting by solar-powered electrolysis. Low-cost hydrogen for fuel cell applications could be produced by photosynthetic microbes that use sunlight to split water into its component elements.
11. Photosynthesis Is Used As A Tool To Improve The Efficiency Of Coal-Fired Power Plants
One way to make coal-fired power plants more efficient and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere is to install carbon dioxide-sucking pipes in smokestacks. These can be used to remove CO2 before it is released into the atmosphere, but that method is very expensive and complicated.
Photosynthetic microbes could be used instead to convert emitted CO2 into methane (CH4) or methanol (CH3OH), both of which are valuable chemicals that can be used to produce commercial products.
12. Photosynthesis Is Used To Reduce The Number Of Oil Spills In The Sea
Oil spills in the ocean can cause serious damage to marine ecosystems as well as coastal regions where they occur. Photosynthetic microbes could help reduce the impact of oil spills by using the oil as a cheap source of carbon for growth.
If photosynthetic microbes were able to coat the spilled oil with a sticky carbohydrate polymer, it could help keep oil out of sensitive habitats and prevent it from moving long distances on ocean currents.
14. Photosynthesis Is Used To Improve Animal And Human Nutrition
Photosynthetic microbes are already widely used to make single-cell protein (SCP), which can be used for animal feed. They could also potentially be used to produce vitamin B12, which is necessary for human health but cannot be produced by animals or plants; it must instead be obtained from microorganisms in the soil.
15. Photosynthesis Is Being Used To Improve Human Health
About half of all medicines are derived from plants and microbes. Photosynthetic microbes such as the green microalga Chlorella Vulgaris produce a wide range of useful pharmaceutical compounds. These include amino acids, antioxidants, and anti-cancer compounds. Scientists are investigating how to genetically modify photosynthetic microbes so that they can produce human hormones such as insulin, the antimalarial drug artemisinin, and other valuable pharmaceuticals.
Importance Of Ecosystem – Conclusion
In conclusion, photosynthesis is important not only to the ecosystems it supports but also because of its integral role in many different areas of human life. Unfortunately, while humans have been able to utilize some things from photosynthesis for our benefit, we have been unable to halt the process that drives it: the sun’s radiant energy.
Therefore, even though we depend on it for survival, photosynthesis is still continuously working against us. As environmental concerns continue to rise worldwide, it will become more imperative that we understand all that photosynthesis can do for us and how best to use its potential to benefit humanity.
Hello, I am Aatka Azhar. I have done bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. Writing articles is my passion through which I explore so many things. So, I am using my passion by working here and it will be the source of knowledge for the readers.