Among the most important factors that affect photosynthesis are temperature, light intensity, and the availability of water.
The reactions of photosynthesis are made possible by enzymes that function best between O'C and 35°C.
Temperatures above or below this range may affect those enzymes, slowing down the rate of photosynthesis or stopping it entirely.
High light intensity increases the rate of photosynthesis.
After the light intensity reaches a certain level, however, the plant reaches its maximum rate of photosynthesis, as is seen in the graph.
Because water is one of the raw materials in photosynthesis, a shortage of water can slow or even stop photosynthesis. Water loss can also damage plant tissues.
Plants that live in dry conditions often have waxy coatings on their leaves to reduce water loss. They may also have biochemical adaptations that make photosynthesis more efficient under dry conditions.
In order to conserve water, most plants under bright, hot conditions close the small openings in their leaves that normally admit carbon dioxide.
This causes carbon dioxide within the leaves to fall to very low levels, slowing down or even stopping photosynthesis.
CA and CAM plants have biochemical adaptations that minimize water loss while still allowing photosynthesis to take place in intense sunlight.
C4 plants have a specialized chemical pathway that allows them to capture even very low levels of carbon dioxide and pass it to the Calvin cycle.
The name TA plant" comes from the fact that the first compound formed in this pathway contains 4 carbon atoms. The C4 pathway requires extra energy in the form of ATP to function.
C.4 organisms include crop plants Like corn, sugar cane, and sorghum.
Members of the Crassulacae family, like the ice plant shown, incorporate carbon dioxide into organic acids during photosynthesis in a process called Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM).
CAM plants admit air into their leaves only at night, where carbon dioxide is combined with existing molecules to produce organic acids, "trapping" the carbon within the leaves.
During the daytime, when leaves are tightly sealed to prevent water loss, these compounds release carbon dioxide, enabling carbohydrate production.
CAM plants include pineapple trees, many desert cacti, and the "ice plants" shown.